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ADMIN-EO  July 2011

ADMIN-EO July 2011

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Subject:

Re: Reasonable Accommodation of religious beliefs

From:

"ROSE, Albert" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

HE Administrators equal opportunities list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 13 Jul 2011 09:11:16 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (189 lines)

Contrary to most peoples opinions on here, I think this is a sensitive and complex issue and discussing such a serious subject is not best done by email. 


Albert Rose

Equalities Manager

 

London Deanery

Stewart House

32 Russell Square

London WC1B 5DN

 

Tel :      +44 (0)20 7862 8633 

Fax:      +44 (0)20 7866 3284

Email:    [log in to unmask] 

website: http://www.londondeanery.ac.uk


-----Original Message-----
From: HE Administrators equal opportunities list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jill Scott
Sent: 12 July 2011 19:07
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Reasonable Accommodation of religious beliefs

Like others here, I am very concerned by the EHRC position on this.  I have always taken the view that any adjustments should not impinge upon other people's rights, which is surely the case with Lillian Ladele.  Protection from discrimination can surely not be conflated with the right to discriminate against others who are seeking to exercise their legitimate and legal rights.  I believe the EHRC is setting a dangerous (and misguided) precedent here.  I also think that this would create serious problems for organisations seeking to provide an appropriate environment for LGBT staff as well as causing issues in service provision.  I believe we should all contact the EHRC as a matter of urgency and ask them to think again about this - I am certainly intending to make my views known to them.

Jill Scott



________________________________________
From: HE Administrators equal opportunities list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Felicity Cooke
Sent: 12 July 2011 15:53
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Reasonable Accommodation of religious beliefs

Aspects of the EHRC position which I find confusing and unhelpful are the apparent conflation of 'reasonable accommodation' with 'reasonable adjustments', together with the example given of the rota change. The definition and practice of reasonable adjustments in the case of disability are well established and, for the most part, clear. The whole idea of 'accommodating' disability, for example, would fly in the face of the social model of disability. I think it is dangerous to substitute 'accommodation'
for 'adjustment' and then attempt to apply it to something like religion and belief. As far as the example given is concerned, there is, I think, a clear understanding that something like a rota change to accommodate a religious belief and practice may be possible in some circumstances but not in others.
For example, the size of an operation and the number of employees will have a bearing on whether such a rota change is possible.

I find the Stonewall statement very helpful in the case of LGBT people and would be interested to know the view of the EHRC Commissioners on the EHRC's new position.

Felicity Cooke
Equality Practice 

> Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 14:41:07 +0100
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Reasonable Accommodation of religious beliefs
> To: [log in to unmask]
> 
> I'm normally a lurker here but feel moved to comment on this. So, from 
> the

> article:
> 
> 'For example, if a Jew asks not to have to work on a Saturday for
religious 
> reasons, his employer could accommodate this with minimum disruption
simply 
> by changing the rota. This would potentially be reasonable and would 
> provide a good outcome for both employee and employer.
> 
> Taking the devil's advocate position here (a suitable term I think): 
> if I,

> as a conscientious philosophical atheist, am the person instructed to 
> take

> the Saturday slot instead of my equally conscientious and observant 
> Jewish

> colleague, what rights do I have under the current legislation to 
> complain

> about this apparently positive discrimination in favour of another's
belief 
> system to my personal disadvantage? Again, if I find some religious 
> object

> or image worn, used or displayed by my co-workers offensive to my 
> (non-)beliefs, where might I stand? This may seem a petty or minor 
> matter but I suspect it would not be seen as minor in the average 
> workplace and the non-believer may hold his or her philosophical 
> beliefs with as much tenacity and sincerity as a 'believer'.
> 
> Questions like this may well be, as Darren says, more problematic than 
> helpful.
> 
> On another point, how long should the law continue to allow the C of E 
> to discriminate against female clerics or gay men who wish to become 
> bishops (for instance)? Should that blatant discrimination be subject 
> to
reasonable 
> adjustments which permit the practice to continue? There's a bizarre
danger 
> of actually legally enshrining forms of clear discrimination as
technically 
> non-discriminatory through these suggestions.
> 
> Richard Price
> 
> --On 12 July 2011 13:51 +0100 "Mooney, Darren" 
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> >
> >
> > Dear All
> >
> > I was wondering if anybody else had seen this press release from the
EHRC
> > about intervening in the cases of Nadia Eweida & Shirley Chaplin and 
> > Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane
> >
> >
http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/news/2011/july/commission-proposes-rea
> > sonable-accommodation-for-religion-or-belief-is-needed/
> >
> > The commission seems to be advocating a 'reasonable accommodation'
> > approach (similar to reasonable adjustments) for religious beliefs. 
> > In
my
> > opinion the current law and approach already allows for 
> > accommodation where required, but allows an organisation to justify 
> > certain decisions such as dress codes, time off for religious 
> > observance, contract conditions etc . To adopt a requirement to 
> > reasonable accommodate all religious and philosophical belief 
> > systems may be more problematic than helpful.
> >
> > Any other thoughts?
> >
> > Darren
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Darren Mooney BSc, MA
> >
> > Diversity & Equality Officer
> >
> > Human Resources
> >
> > Hart Building
> >
> > University of Liverpool
> >
> > Liverpool
> >
> > L3 5TQ
> >
> >
> >
> > T: 0151 795 5975
> >
> > E: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > W: http://www.liv.ac.uk/hr/diversity_equality/
> >
> >
> >
> > BAME Staff Network: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > Disabled Staff Network: [log in to unmask]
> >
> > LGBT Staff Network: [log in to unmask]
> >
> >
> >
> > [Image: "logos"]
> >
> >
> >
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Richard Price, Staff Welfare Officer.
> JMS 4D8, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton. BN1 9QG Tel. 
> 01273-877712; Internal 7712 [log in to unmask]

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