A Good Practice Guide for Employers and Employees

The purpose of the Guide is to explain and provide guidance on the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations, which came into force on 2nd December 2003. This law is a welcome development for religious communities in Britain, as it provides direct protection against religious discrimination in employment and vocational training. Such protection was previously lacking, making unfair discrimination a reality for many faith communities, especially Muslims.

The guide has been produced with particular reference to Muslims. We hope this will not only assist employers in complying with the Regulations, but also increase an understanding of Islamic practices that are part of the daily life of Muslims.

Aiming for an integrated and cohesive workplace

This Guide is part of a larger initiative. With financial support from the DTI, The Muslim Council of Britain, in partnership with The Muslim News, MDUK and the British Muslim Research Centre undertook a community awareness-raising and capacity building programme between November 2003 and March 2004. In addition to the distribution of 100,000 booklets and 10,000 posters in four languages, the programme included six regional briefing sessions and a one-day training workshop in London.

Accommodation of these practices is now required by law

A better understanding of the law as well as practices required of Muslims by Islam can greatly improve the workplace experience of Muslim employees. It will also ensure that employers attract and retain the best possible staff – regardless of religion or belief. This can only bring increased dividends for employers. We are confident that the practical guidance provided by this Guide will assist employers of all faiths to create a workplace that ensures that Muslims can work without discrimination, harassment or victimisation. Equally, this Guide is for Muslim employers and employees, who must also be equally accommodating of individuals of other religions and beliefs.