Dominic Curran becomes head of charities at Anthony Collins Solicitors.
Our experienced team of charity solicitors can advise and support faith-based charities on sensitive employment issues.
When there is a requirement for an employee to declare commitment to a certain faith, it is imperative that the employer takes a careful and sensitive approach. This is a major issue for such charities, where there is a faith-based aspect to the work to be carried out.
An employer can request that an employee signs a declaration of faith, but this requirement must be exercised with caution and not be seen to be discriminatory. It is imperative that the correct procedures are used and that there is a genuine requirement for the declaration. Otherwise, it could be viewed as faith-based discrimination and could lead to legal action, dissatisfaction amongst the workforce or damage to the organisation's reputation.
Under the Equality Act 2010 employees are protected from workplace discrimination, including direct or indirect discrimination as a result of an employee's religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs. However, the Equality Act does allow faith-based charities to require employees to be a member of a particular faith, providing they can demonstrate that it is a genuine occupational requirement for the role.
Our team of experienced charity solicitors take a faith-focused approach and use their extensive sector and legal knowledge to provide strategic employment support for faith-based charities to ensure they are in compliance with the regulations.
Our strategic employment support for faith-based charities
Our team of specialist charity solicitors work in partnership with faith-based charities to provide clear and practical strategic employment support, including:
- Identifying whether there is a genuine occupational requirement to request a declaration of faith.
- Safeguarding against general employment and faith-based discrimination disputes.
- Drafting, reviewing and implementing policies and procedures in compliance with regulations.
- Advice and support to faith-based charities on dispute resolution and reputation management in the event of a dispute arising.
Specialist in pensions and employment law.
We have been recognised for the work we do
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (“EAT”) held in Flowers v East of England Ambulance Trust that “normal” remuneration included voluntary overtime if it was paid over a sufficient period.
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