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With thanks to Monica Kurnatowska, partner in our London office.

In the UK, in principle, it is possible for employers to restrict employees’ expressions of views. But where those views reflect a religious or other belief protected under the Equality Act 2010, the scope to do so is far more limited. A number of employment tribunal decisions have highlighted the financial and reputational perils for employers
of getting things wrong.

Our UK colleague, Monica Kurnatowska, recently authored an article identifying the 8 key principles that emerge from the case law that employers should take into consideration, namely:

  1. The importance of freedom of speech and expression
  2. There is no right not to be offended
  3. Consider the context – determining whether something is objectionable will be context specific
  4. Do not make assumptions about an employee’s views or what an individual might do
  5. Ensure your policies are clear and employees are regularly given training that all beliefs are treated equally
  6. The importance of even-handed leadership
  7. The need to handle complaints with care
  8. Take a balanced approach

This week the UK government’s “Inclusion at Work” panel endorsed and adopted her guidance.

To view Monica’s full article in Practical Law UK click here.

Brief Reminder: Religious Discrimination in the US Workplace

In 2022, the EEOC reported that the number of religious discrimination charges filed by employees was six times higher than in previous years.

Last June, the US Supreme Court ruled in Groff v. DeJoy that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers must reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs or practices unless doing so would result in substantial increased cost in relation to the conduct of the employer’s particular business. For more, reread our previous blog here.