top of page
Religion or Belief

Religion or Belief

SKU: 11.17
  • Advice

    The Equality Act makes clear that any discrimination against a person due to their religion or belief or even lack of religion or belief is unlawful. While the act does not give a definitive list of religions that cannot be discriminated against or even a definition, courts have interpreted this to mean any religion with a clear structure and belief system. 


    What Religions are Protected by the Act

    The Act, therefore, protects Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism as well as less mainstream religions such as s Baha’i, Jainism, Rastafarianism and Zoroastrianism. Furthermore, denominations or structures of belief within the religion, such as Methodism or Sabbatarianism within Christianity, or Sunni or Shia within Islam, are also protected by the act. The Act also works to protect those who do not have religion from discrimination. This means that individuals such as atheists, humanists and secularists, are protected under the Act as well.


    What Beliefs Are Protected by the Act

    The Act does not clarify what a belief might mean beyond ‘belief means any religious or philosophical belief’’. The Act does also protect those without a belief. Through the courts, a framework for understanding what is meant by belief has been developed for use. A belief does not need to include faith or worship of a god or gods, but it must impact the way an individual lives their life and perceives the world.


    For a philosophical belief to be protected it must be genuinely held, a belief and not just an opinion on the state of things, have a certain level of cogency and seriousness, apply significantly to an aspect of human life or behaviour and be worthy of respect within a democracy. Beliefs such as humanism, pacifism, vegetarianism and the belief in man-made climate change are all protected.


    What does Discrimination Look Like?

    Discrimination by Association is a form of direct discrimination and is unlawful. It can occur when someone is treated worse than another person in a similar situation due to their association with someone of a particular religion or belief. 


    Discrimination by Perception occurs when someone assumes that you practice a particular religion or belief and treat you poorly. One example of this might be a boss looking for new employees but ignoring applications of people whose names sound Muslim even if they are not Muslim themselves. 


    Direct Discrimination occurs when someone is treated worse than a person in a similar situation due to their religion or belief. An example of this might be an employee refusing to offer the job to an individual because they are Jewish despite being the most qualified for the job. 


    Indirect discrimination occurs when an organisation has a policy or particular culture of working that has adverse effects on people of a different religion or belief. One particular example might be a workplace that only serves meat despite having vegetarian employees. Organisations are liable for indirect discrimination unless they can illustrate that there’s a good reason for its use.


    Victimisation: This is when an individual has lodged a complaint due to a workplace’s mistreatment and then is treated far worse for it. This also includes people who have helped support the lodging of a complaint.


    Harassment: This is perhaps one of the most explicit forms of discrimination. It takes place when someone is treated in such a way that makes you feel ashamed, offended or degraded. An example, of this, might be a boss making Islamophobic jokes when around their employees who are Muslim. 


    Making a Complaint

    It is typically always best to take a more informal route when making a complaint as a first option. This can be as simple as speaking to your supervisor. However, if you find that the informal route does not resolve the issue, you can instead pursue the organisation’s own internal complaint procedure. If you wish to seek support and advice for your complaint, Lestons can act as an advocate on your behalf. As an advocate, we can liaise with the relevant organisation and can also represent you if you choose to escalate the complaint further and take an appeal to the court. To start a case simply click on the link at the top of the page.


    Several organisations provide advisory support as you go through the complaints process. 

    • Citizens Advice
    • Humanist UK is an organisation that works to integrate Humanist teaching into society and provide pastoral support for those who practice this belief.
    • The Community Security Trust is an organisation that supports Jewish people who have experienced antisemitism. 
    • TELL MAMA (National Organisation for Muslim Victims)


    How we can help

    To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link. 


    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

bottom of page