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Employers warned over faith rights


12 July 2011

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The government is being urged to take action against employers who fail to respect the rights of Christians to display their faith in the workplace.

The high-level lobbying followed a series of cases where Christians claimed they faced discrimination after expressing their beliefs at work, such as British Airways worker Nadia Eweida who lost an employment tribunal ruling after being told she could not wear a cross visibly at work.

The Church of England condemned the so-called “chill factor” which leads employers to allegedly over-react to the law on expression of religious belief. And the the General Synod was told the government has been warned “on several occasions” to tackle employers who view expressions of faith as automatically offensive.

Church of England spokesman Dr Philip Giddings insisted the existing law did not prevent Christians from expressing their views in the workplace but said it had been wrongly interpreted as doing so.

He said Church officials had received a “sympathetic hearing” from ministers and looked forward to “practical responses” from the government.

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