Religion or belief
Religion or belief

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Religion or belief
  • Protected characteristics
  • Definition of religion or belief
  • Religion
  • Religious or philosophical belief
  • Political and objectionable beliefs
  • Manifestations of belief
  • The evidence required to show a religious or philosophical belief
  • Discriminating against someone because of a third party's religion or belief

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: Brexit and IP completion day—implications for employment lawyers.

Protected characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010) provides protection against discrimination which relates to certain listed characteristics which people may possess. Some protections relate specifically to only one of those characteristics. Others provide the same protection in relation to all the characteristics, which are collectively referred to as 'the protected characteristics'.

Each protected characteristic is listed and (with the exception of pregnancy and maternity) defined in the Act:

  1. age—see Practice Note: Age for further information

  2. disability—see Practice Note: Disability for further information

  3. gender reassignment—see Practice Note: Gender reassignment for further information

  4. marriage and civil partnership—see Practice Note: Marriage and civil partnership for further information

  5. pregnancy and maternity

  6. race—see Practice Note: Race for further information

  7. religion or belief—see the remainder of this Practice Note, below, for further information

  8. sex—see Practice Note: Sex for further information

  9. sexual orientation—see Practice Note: Sexual orientation for further

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