Religion in the workplace

March 18, 2016

 

As our recommended provider of training solutions in the workplace for diversity and equality, Qdos Consulting present their top 5 tips to avoiding religious disputes.


Diversity in the workplace means bringing together people of different ethnic backgrounds, religions and age groups into a cohesive and productive unit. A company needs to be able to manage its diverse workplace effectively. Managing diversity in the workplace should be a part of the culture of the organization.

 

Managing religious diversity in specific, can be challenging from a business standpoint. Acceptance of different religious views is vital, as well as being able to accommodate those who may need extra time off or may have special needs that are linked to their religion. It is possible to have a workplace that is enhanced by its diversity, by following a few guidelines:

 

Tip 1
Offer training to all employees - In a diverse workplace, there are going to be clashes, some that may not be intentional by the employees. Religion is a hot issue on its own and when two religions collide the results can be devastating. It is important to offer training to all employees and to discuss what is acceptable in terms of religion and religious belief in the workplace, and even on social media. 

 

Tip 2
Employers could consider providing time off to employees for their religious reasons. Some religions ask that worship must be at specific times and these times may interfere with their work day. However, be prepared to face some criticism from employees, when you offer time off, as they may not share the same faith and feel that they are treated unfairly because of this. Remind them that several religious holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, are offered as paid holidays.

 

Tip 3
Many religions are directly opposed to one another, however common ground can be reached. Monitor employees and if it is apparent that there is still some friction over religious issues, encourage the employees to discuss their problems in a safe environment, away from other workers, so that they may come to a mutual understanding. Encourage the employees to find common ground between them.

 

Tip 4
Avoid overreacting to simple issues that may arise. A diverse workplace is bound to have growing issues and problems and it is important to embrace these. Remember that you cannot please all of the employees, all of the time. Compromise is a vital part in achieving diversity.

 

Tip 5
Employees need to know what kinds of behavior will not be tolerated and that action will be taken immediately if problems between employees occur. Adopt a no-tolerance policy for severe issues. If they have been properly trained and educated on company policies and equality, there is no excuse for severe religious issues between employees.

 

If you would like to discuss employment law around the Equality Act, and more specifically around religion or any other consultancy services including training on Equality and Diversity, please contact 01455 852 028 or sales@qdosconsulting.com.

 

 

Article written by Manthan Ajit, Junior HR Advisor at Qdos Consulting Ltd

 

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