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Chapter

Cover Employment Law

15. Religious discrimination  

This chapter deals with religious discrimination law under the Equality Act. It discusses the historical background of religious discrimination law, protected characteristics, prohibited conduct on grounds of religious discrimination,. Religion and belief is not specifically defined in the statute, and is left for the courts to define. Atheists are protected, but beliefs which ‘conflict with the fundamental rights of others’ are not. Dress codes are one of the most contested topics in this area of law. There are also specific exceptions for religious employers. The chapter also considers the conflict and competing interests between religious discrimination and other protected characteristics, such as sexual orientation and gender reassignment.