September 22, 2020

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British Government Affirms Christmas at Work

New report details when workers’ faith expression is protected and when it can get them fired.

British Government Affirms Christmas at Work

British officials are encouraging the country to put Christ back in Christmas—even in their workplaces.

“There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to dealing with religion at work. I want to put the record straight: It is OK to hold a party and send Christmas cards,” said David Isaac, chairman of the national Equality and Human Rights Commission.

This week, Christians and politicians alike welcomed Isaac’s assurance following the growing prevalence of more generic terminology in public and office celebrations, such as “season’s greetings” and “Winterval.”

“We have a very strong tradition in this country of religious tolerance and freedom of speech, and our Christian heritage is something we can all be proud of,” Prime Minister Theresa May responded. “We all want to ensure that people at work do feel able to speak about their faith and also feel able to speak quite freely about Christmas.”

The equality commission also released Friday a new report on anti-discrimination law for British workplaces. The report assessed current government policies, finding mostly reasonable, balanced guidelines for religious expression in the workplace—though employers don’t always follow them.

The assessment highlighted examples of Christian employees who were wrongfully discriminated against at work, including a daycare worker fired for responding to a question about homosexuality and a British Airways employee banned from wearing a cross necklace at the check-in desk. The report concluded that courts rightly ruled in their favor and against their employers.

In other cases, including a local government employee who used her work account to send emails …

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