Monday 19th January 2015
The Daily Mail and the Telegraph have both reported that a nurse has lodged an employment tribunal claim alleging she suffered religious discrimination after praying for a colleague, who was of a different religion.
Reading the articles it becomes clear that the headline doesn’t quite reflect the full story. The nurse had also invited her colleague to church events and gave her a book in which the central character converted religion. The colleague complained and, after a disciplinary hearing, the nurse was given a written warning.
This is what can happen when people are perceived to be imposing their religion/religious beliefs on other people at work. It’s unnecessary, unwelcome and unacceptable. Despite that, perhaps understandably, some employers shy away from tackling religious issues/problems as it’s a very sensitive area. Not dealing with these issues/problems when they arise is a mistake because, as with most problems, usually they won’t resolve themselves. In fact, they’re more likely to get worse.
If your organisation has religious issues/problems, please contact a member of the Employment team.