UK Workplace Turban Law Amended
A new employment law has come into force across the UK that enables Sikhs to wear turban in all workplace. Thanks to a decade-long campaign by Sikh groups that addressed a loophole in the law, which lead to turban-wearers facing discrimination in the workplace. Employment laws that exempted turban-wearers from the requirement to wear a safety helmet on construction sites did not apply to less hazardous environments, such as factories and warehouses.
The Sikh Council UK is the largest representative body of British Sikhs, which seeks to unite Sikhs in their pursuit of personal, social, spiritual, economic well-being and campaigns on issues affecting Sikhs, to name a few of the council’s work area. The Council said that the rules led to a number of cases where Sikhs faced disciplinary hearings and were dismissed from longstanding employment for their refusal to remove their turban and wear a safety helmet.
Followed lobbying by Sikh groups, an amendment to extend the exemption in the Employment act was introduced to the Deregulation Bill last year.
Secretary General of Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said, “We are pleased that our long campaign has enabled a vital change in the law” Gurmel Singh also added, “It will make a real difference to Sikhs in the UK by increasing the number of workplaces that members of community can work in whilst remaining their religiously mandated identity”
There will still be limited exceptions where safety helmets will be required, such as for specific roles in the armed forces and emergency response situations.
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