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Welcome to Module 3 of the NCC Equality

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Title: Welcome to Module 3 of the NCC Equality


1
  • Welcome to Module 3 of the NCC Equality
    Diversity Programme
  • Religion and Belief

PowerPoint Presentation
2
  • Welcome to the third briefing in the Challenging
    Inequality programme. This briefing has been
    especially written for everyone working for
    Nottinghamshire County Council.
  • The first two briefings covered age and race
    equality.
  • In this briefing we are going to look at
  • Religion and Belief

3
By the end of this briefing you will Understand
how the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief)
Regulations 2003 affect you. Be able to describe
the key equality and diversity issues that
surround religion or belief. Recognise how a
better understanding of religious beliefs can
help us to deliver better services to all of our
customers.
4
  • After completing this briefing and listening to
    the
  • Talking Heads audio you will have the
    opportunity to discuss this topic further with
    your line manager and colleagues.

5
  • Why this briefing is important?
  • There are many different religions and beliefs.
    What they have in common is their importance to
    their followers and their influence on how we
    live our lives.
  • Our beliefs shape our sense of who we are, where
    we come from and our relationships with each
    other.
  • They influence what we do and what we think about
    the world. They help us understand and provide
    support at times of joy and sorrow, life and
    death.
  • It is no wonder why we all feel so strongly about
    matters of belief.

6
  • There is also a lot of variation as to how people
    observe their religion or beliefs.
  • It may influence how they dress or what they eat.
  • They may follow their faith privately or as part
    of community and attending formal places of
    worship.
  • There may be certain rituals to be observed at
    particular times and important dates for special
    ceremonies.
  • Not only do these vary from one faith to another,
    there are many variations within each of the
    major religions too.

7
  • While all this can look and sound very different
    and makes us appear different from other people
    often, our reasons for following a particular
    religion or holding a particular set of beliefs
    are, in many ways, common to us all.
  • So, to ensure that we are delivering excellent
    customer service and service provision, we ALL
    need an awareness of and respect for other
    faiths.
  • The aim of this briefing is to raise your
    awareness about religion and belief and how this
    affects us all at work.

8
  • This briefing is made up of four parts
  • What do we mean by religion and belief?
  • The law
  • What are the common religions?
  • What does this mean for us at work?

9
  • Part One
  • What do we mean by Religion and Belief?

10
What do we mean by religion or belief?
This briefing is based on the Employment
Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.
What kinds of belief do you think the
Regulations cover?
11
What do we mean by religion or belief?
The Regulations cover any religion, religious
belief, or similar belief. Similar belief
includes such beliefs as paganism, atheism,
humanism and pacifism. This is a broad
definition, so what beliefs are covered by the
Regulations are determined by cases brought to
tribunals.
12
What beliefs are covered by the Regulations?
Patriotic Beliefs
Political Beliefs
People without religious beliefs
13
What beliefs are covered by the Regulations?
An American working at Victoria Station was
sacked for sewing the American flag to his
reflective vest. This was in breach of health
and safety regulations. He claimed unfair
dismissal on the grounds that he had a right to
his patriotic belief. An Employment Tribunal
ruled that the dismissal was legal, as his
loyalty to his country is not a belief within
the meaning of the Regulations. Williams v South
Central Limited (2004)
Patriotic Beliefs
14
What beliefs are covered by the Regulations?
Issues that tribunals take into account include
collective worship, clear belief system and a
profound belief affecting your view of the world.
Recent changes in the law have widened the
scope of the Regulations to include political
beliefs in the future.
Political Beliefs
15
What beliefs are covered by the Regulations?
The Regulations provide protection to people
without religious or similar belief, and
therefore it is not legal to treat someone less
favourably because they do not have a religious
or similar belief.
People without religious beliefs
16
  • Part Two
  • The Law

17
  • In previous modules you learnt about the law and
  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Lets have a look at discrimination first of all.

18
Can you think of an example of direct and
indirect discrimination?
Direct Discrimination?
Indirect Discrimination?
19
Can you think of an example of direct and
indirect discrimination?
Direct Discrimination
Being refused a job because you are a Hindu even
though you have all the necessary skills.
20
Can you think of an example of direct and
indirect discrimination?
Having a dress code that does not allow men to
wear ponytails or headwear. This policy would
disadvantage Sikh workers who wear turbans for
religious reasons and Hindu men who wear a small
knot of hair at the back of the head as a symbol
of their belief.
Indirect Discrimination
21
However indirect discrimination will not be
unlawful if it can be justified. To justify it,
an employer must show that there is a real
business need and that the practice is
proportionate and there is no alternative means
available. For example, where, for safety or
hygiene reasons certain protective headgear or
hair coverings are needed to perform the job.
22
Something to think about!
  • It is as unlawful to discriminate against a
    person for NOT holding a specific religion or
    belief as it is to discriminate against someone
    for actually holding to or subscribing to a
    particular religion or belief.

23
  • A member of staff, devout in her belief,
    continually refers to her colleagues as
    heathens and warns them of the consequences
    they may suffer as a result of their lack of
    belief.
  • Distressed by her intimidating behaviour, her
    colleagues complain to their manager that they
    are being harassed.
  • Is this harassment? What do you think?

24
  • The harassment is unlawful.
  • It is directed at work colleagues because they
    have different beliefs or no beliefs.

25
  • How about Mr A who is continually teased about
    his partners religious convictions. He finds
    being subjected to such teasing offensive and
    distressing and complains to his manager. His
    manager tells him not to be silly, that the
    teasing is only harmless workplace banter and is
    nothing to do with the organisation.
  • Is this harassment? What do you think?

26
  • This is harassment even though it is not the
    victims own religion or belief that is the
    subject of the teasing.
  • Mr A is able to complain through Employment
    Tribunal. His colleagues may have to pay
    compensation. The organisation may also have to
    pay compensation because it has a liability for
    the actions of its staff.

27
Why is it important for us to understand the
law?
  • It will
  • help us to accept and show respect for other
    faiths.
  • help everyone to have an equal opportunity to
    work and develop their skills.
  • create a positive working environment in which we
    all benefit and fulfil our potential.
  • Support flexibility to enable team members to
    observe religious festivals.
  • Eliminate discrimination in the workplace.

28
  • Part Three
  • What are the common religions?

29
  • So, lets find out more about the many different
    religions and beliefs that exist.
  • Clearly, religious writings and teachings are too
    vast to cover in detail here so, in this guide
    we aim to highlight some key points.
  • Lets find out more

30
  • There are lots of different religions. How many
    can you identify in one minute?
  • Start your time now..

How did you do?
Go to the next slide to see how many we
identified
31
Buddhism
Hinduism
Christianity
Click on the next few slides to find out more
Islam (Muslims)
Sikhism
Judaism (Jews))
32
Christianity
  • Christians believe that there is one God, the
    creator and sustainer of everything, whose nature
    has been shown most clearly through the life of
    Jesus Christ.
  • Churches Together in Nottinghamshire, provides an
    umbrella network for Christian groups.
  • Website www.churchestogethernottinghamshire.org.
    uk

33
Buddhism
  • Buddhists believe that there is no permanent,
    immortal soul. We are collections of
    ever-changing elements like feeling and
    perceptions. After death, these elements are
    reborn into a new life, according to the good and
    bad deeds of past lives.
  • Nottingham Buddhist Centre, 9 St. Marys Place,
    The Lace Market, Nottingham, NG1 1PH, Tel 0115
    956 1008.
  • Website www.nottinghambuddhistcentre.org

34
Hindu
  • Hindus believe that Atman is the spirit present
    in all life, the energy that activates the body.
    It is eternal after death it is reborn as
    another creature.
  • Due to karma, the universal principle of actions
    and their consequences, past actions determine
    the nature of new life.
  • There is one Hindhu temple in Greater Nottingham.
  • For more information contact Hindu Temple, 215
    Carlton Road, Nottingham, NG3 2FX, Telephone
    0115 9113384,
  • Web site www.hindutemple.org.uk

35
Islam
  • Muslims believe in one God, called Allah.
  • He is merciful and powerful, the creator and
    sustainer of the universe, and has prescribed
    Islam as the correct way of life for people.
  • There are 12 mosques and masjids (Muslim place of
    worship) in Greater Nottingham, mostly in the NG7
    area .
  • For more information contact Islamic Centre, 3
    Curzon Street, Nottingham, NG3 1DG, Telephone
    0115 9590001.

36
Judaism
  • Jews believe that there is only one God, who
    created the world and extended justice,
    compassion and love to all people. His ways can
    be known and He is close to his people, but He is
    awe-inspiring and beyond understanding.
  • There are 2 synagogues (Jewish place of worship)
    in Greater Nottingham.
  • For more information contact
  • Orthodox Synagogue, Shakespeare Villas,
    Shakespeare St., Nottingham, NG1 4FQ, Telephone
    0115 9476663.
  • Progressive Synagogue, Lloyds St., Sherwood,
    Nottingham, NG5 4BT, Telephone 0115 962 4761.

37
Sikhism
  • Sikhs believe in one God, who can be experienced
    but is beyond human understanding and never takes
    human form.
  • There are many names for God The most common in
    worship is Waheguru (wonderful lord).
  • There are six gurdwaras (Sikh place of worship)
    in Greater Nottingham, mostly in the NG7 area.
  • For more information contact The Sikh Temple
    (Gurdwara), 26 Nottingham Road, Nottingham, NG7
    7EA, Tel 0115 962 2132.

38
Other religions
Ancient Religions e.g. Druidry, Paganism Wicca
Jainism
Zoroastrians (Parsi)
Keen to know more? Click on the next slide for
some useful website links
Bahai
Brahma Kumaris
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Rasta- farianism
39
Other religions Useful website links
Jainism http//www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions
/jainism/ Ancient Religions http//www.bbc.co.uk
/religion/religions/paganism/subdivisions/wicca.sh
tmltop Brahmahttp//www.brahmakumaris.org.uk/Not
tingham/ Quakershttp//www.quaker.org.uk/ Rastafa
rianismhttp//www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham/faith/rast
afarian.shtml BahaIhttp//www.bahai.org.uk Zoroa
strians http//www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article
/0,4273,3847462,00.html
40
Other religions Useful website links
Nottingham Inter Faith Council www.interfaithno
ttm.org.uk Multifaith Centre www.multifaithne
t.org
41
There are many religious festivals - far too
many for one slide! Which ones do YOU know about
that are happening in the next month? To find out
more, visit www.bbc.co.uk/religion/tools/calendar

42
  • What are the religious beliefs of people in
    Nottinghamshire?

A UK census in 2001 asked people in the Greater
Nottingham area to identify their religious
belief. What religion did most people state?
43
71.3 of people who responded to the census
stated Christian
0.3
0.3
Hindu
0.7
0.2
Buddhist
Other
Jewish
23.4
1.0
Muslim
2.8
Sikh
No religion
44
  • Part Four
  • What does this mean for us at work?

45
  • What do the Regulations mean for us at work?

As an employer and as a provider of services we
want to comply with the law not because we have
to but because we want to as we believe it is
the right thing to do. The following slides will
give you a few pointers on what we are expected
to do as employees
46
Attracting The Best People
  • Care needs to be taken that methods of
    recruitment and selection criteria do not
    prevent people from applying because of their
    religion or belief.

47
Attracting The Best People
  • At the interview, questions should be asked to
    check for the skills and competencies needed for
    the post.
  • Here are some good practice guidelines.

48
  • Good Practice Guidelines
  • Any questions not obviously related to the post
    may be perceived as providing a basis for
    discrimination.
  • So, just as we should not ask or be asked
    irrelevant questions relating to marital status,
    or child care arrangements, there should be no
    irrelevant questions about religion or belief
    such as ones about place or frequency of worship,
    communal involvement, or religious ethos of
    educational establishments attended.

49
Retaining Good People
  • Opportunities for promotion and training should
    be made known to all staff and be available to
    everyone on a fair and equal basis.
  • Whilst organisations should be sensitive to the
    needs of their staff, staff also have a
    responsibility to ensure they raise awareness of
    their individual needs.

50
Retaining Good People
  • Training is an excellent way to enhance
    performance and retain good people
  • To avoid disadvantaging someone because of their
    religion when training, what adjustments do we
    consider?
  • Click on the picture to find out more

51
Retaining Good People
  • Training is an excellent way to enhance
    performance and retain good people
  • To avoid disadvantaging someone because of their
    religion when training, what do you need to
    consider?
  • Click on the picture to find out more
  • As an organisation we try to
  • Cater for special dietary requirements, for
    example kosher, halal and vegetarian food
    remember to update your profile on LDS so we are
    aware of your needs
  • Avoid ice breakers and training activities that
    use language or physical contact that might be
    inappropriate for some beliefs
  • Avoid exercises that require the exchange of
    very personal information
  • Make sure that related social activities do not
    exclude people by choice of venue
  • Avoid significant religious festivals such as
    Ramadan wherever possible

52
Retaining Good People
  • Employees should understand that if they harass
    their colleagues, they could be personally liable
    and may have to pay compensation in addition to
    anything that the organisation may have to pay.
  • Raising awareness and understanding of different
    religions and beliefs can promote a productive
    working environment.

53
Religious Observance In The Workplace
  • Many religions or beliefs have special festivals
    or spiritual observance days
  • Any requests for time off work in order to
    celebrate festivals or attend ceremonies should
    be considered sympathetically
  • For more information, see the NCC Guidelines on
    Religious Leave.

54
Religious Observance In The Workplace
  • Some religions or beliefs have specific dietary
    requirements. If employees bring food to the
    workplace, they may need to store and heat food
    separately from other food.
  • It is good practice to consult your employees on
    such issues and find a mutually acceptable
    solution to any dietary problems.

55
Religious Observance In The Workplace
  • A worker who, for religious reasons, is
    vegetarian felt unable to store her lunch next to
    meat sandwiches belonging to a co-worker.
  • Following consultation with the staff a policy
    was introduced by which all food must be stored
    in sealed containers and shelves were separately
    designated meat and vegetarian.
  • This arrangement met the needs of all staff.

56
Religious Observance In The Workplace
  • Some religions require their followers to pray
    at specific times during the day.
  • Employers are not required to provide a prayer
    room. However, if a quiet place is available and
    allowing its use for prayer does not cause
    problems for other workers or the business,
    organisations should agree to the request.
  • It is good practice to consult with employees
    and to consider whether there is anything
    reasonable and practical which can be done to
    help employees meet the ritual requirement of
    their religion.

57
Getting To Know Each Other!
  • It will be beneficial for us all to understand
    the religious observances of our colleagues to
    avoid embarrassment or difficulties for those
    practicing their religious obligations.
  • However, please be sensitive to peoples views
    about their religion and dont make assumptions
    about their personal beliefs.

58
Where can I go for more information?
  • Nottingham Interfaith Council www.interfaithnottm
    .org.uk
  • Local group seeking to share knowledge and
    promote understanding of the beliefs and
    practices of different faiths and the importance
    of spiritual aspects of life
  • Multifaith Centre http//www.multifaithnet.org
  • A self-access research, learning, information and
    dialogue tool, providing updated access to global
    electronic resources and interactions useful for
    study of world religious traditions and
    communities and the practice of inter-faith
    dialogue
  • ACAS http//www.acas.org.uk
  • An independent publicly funded organisation
    their aim is to improve working life through
    better employment relations

59
  • Remember our policies and procedures can only go
    so far it is our behaviours and attitudes to
    other people that make the real difference.

60
So, a few questions to think about Do we, at
NCC, value each person as an individual? Do we
accept and respect each persons religion or
belief? Do we really understand (and utilise) the
benefits that a diverse and inclusive workplace
brings to our organisation? Is there more that
NCC needs to do? What more can you do?
61
  • Next Steps
  • Listen to the Talking Heads audio Multiple
    Breaks
  • Then, reflect on what we have covered so far
  • What religion belief related issues do you
    experience
  • within your team/service?
  • with your service-users?
  • Discuss your thoughts with your line
  • Manager.
  • (Your line manager will lead this discussion
    during team meetings or
    1-2-1s)

62
  • One Final Question.

In your opinion, at this time, are individuals
within the authority experiencing discrimination
due to their religion or belief? A) Yes B) No C)
Not sure
63
  • Thank You.

You have now completed this briefing note.
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