The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), in the case of Saini v Saints Haque Centre, Bungy and Paul, has upheld an employee's claim for harassment on the grounds of religion or belief where the employee was harassed on the grounds of another person's religion or belief.
Mr Saini had been harassed by his employer to provide information which would give it ammunition to justify taking action against a colleague on the grounds of his beliefs. The EAT concluded that Mr Saini could succeed with his claim for harassment on the grounds of religion or belief. The wording of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 is sufficiently wide to cover harassment or discrimination on the grounds of another's religion or belief. The EAT considered it clear that such interpretation is consistent with the aims and intention of the EC framework directive and also with the UK case law on the wide interpretation to be given to the phrase "on racial grounds" in the Race Relations Act.
Impact on employers
The case confirms that the Religion or Belief Regulations will catch the any actions of the employer taken to implement a discriminatory policy. It will not be necessary for an employee to have been instructed to act in a discriminatory fashion. Employers should ensure that their policies and training on discrimination reflect this decision.