NEWS3 April 2017

British employers struggle with religious belief in the workplace

News UK

While human resources (HR) managers think they are allowing employees to express their religion and belief in the workplace, employees do not recognise this according to a ComRes study.

The Belief at Work study into faith in the workplace, gathered informal insight from workplace leaders, and surveyed HR managers and adult in paid employment in Britain to test awareness of seven of the Equality Act 2010 categories of protected characteristics.

While many HR managers said they make provision for their employees to pray at work ( 42%), and observe holy days and religious festivals ( 37%), only one in five workers recognised this – with just 19% saying their employer makes provision for planning working hours around holy days or religious festivals (not including national public holidays like Christmas or Easter), or for praying during working hours.

Katie Harrison, director of ComRes Faith Research Centre, said: “We found that HR managers have a very different view of what’s happening in their workplace than many workers do.

“An acid test for many workplaces is the Monday morning conversation. Do people always say what they did at the weekend, or do they leave out the part about pursuing a religious or belief-related activity because they feel uncomfortable to say so?”

To celebrate good practice in creating a workplace culture where people of all faiths and none can thrive, ComRes is inviting people to nominate their employer for a Belief At Work Award.