Religion and belief discrimination is illegal in the UK and is listed as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010. It arises when someone is unfairly disadvantaged for reasons related to their religion or their beliefs. Protection is given to those with any religion, or any religious or philosophical beliefs as well as those without a religion or belief. There is no definitive list of religions or beliefs.

This factsheet offers an overview of the different types of discrimination with specific examples of how they apply to religious and belief discrimination. It suggests good employment practices to ensure everyone has fair access and opportunity to progress in work, regardless of their religion or beliefs.

Explore our viewpoint on religion and belief in more detail, along with actions for government and recommendations for employers.

This factsheet was last updated by Dr Jill Miller: Senior Diversity and Inclusion Adviser, CIPD

Jill’s role is a combination of rigorous research and active engagement with policy makers, academics and HR professionals to inform projects and shape thinking on key inclusion and diversity issues. She frequently presents on people management issues, leads discussions and workshops and is invited to write for trade press as well as offer comment to national journalists.

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