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Religion (Archive)

Religion Archive

The Equality Act 2010 harmonised and replaced previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995) with a Single Act.

The information below has been archived and is published for reference only

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 came into force in December 2003. These make it unlawful for public and private sector employers to discriminate against employees on grounds of religion or belief in employment and vocational training. This includes:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Victimisation
  • Harassment

The definition is any religion, religious belief or similar philosophical belief.
They cover discrimination on grounds of perceived as well as actual religion or belief (i.e. assuming - correctly or incorrectly - that someone has a particular religion or belief). The Regulations also cover association, i.e. being discriminated against on grounds of the religion or belief of those with whom you associate (for example, friends and/or family).
The Religion or Belief Regulations do not protect against discrimination on grounds of belief not akin to a religion or similar philosophical belief, e.g. being a fanatical supporter of a particular football club, or being a supporter of a particular political party because of strongly held political views.

Human Rights
The Human Rights Act 1998 came into force from 2 October 2000. It gives further effect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms in the European Convention on Human Rights. All recent legislation in the U.K. has had to take account of the main principles enshrined in this Act as well as changes to legislation and policy directives at the European level.

The Act makes it unlawful for public authorities to act in a way incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Articles of the Human Rights Act
  • Article 2 - Right to life
  • Article 3 - Prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment
  • Article 4 - Prohibition of slavery
  • Article 5 - Right to liberty and Security
  • Article 6 - Right to a Fair trial
  • Article 7 - No punishment without Law
  • Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life
  • Article 9 - Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Article 10 - Freedom of expression
  • Article 11 - Freedom of assembly and association
  • Article 12 - Right to marry
  • Article 14 - Prohibition of discrimination
The Act recognises three forms of discrimination
Direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably than another.

Indirect discrimination is where a condition is applied to everyone, but in practice forms a greater obstacle to one group than another and which cannot be justified in the circumstances

Victimisation is where a person is treated less favourably than another because of a personal dislike or because they have brought proceedings, given evidence, or complained about the behaviour of someone who has been harassing or discriminating against them.


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