Religion or belief: What is it and why is it important?

Advice and Guidance

Who is this page for?

  • Employers

Which countries is it relevant to?

    • Great Britain flag icon

      Great Britain

Religion or belief is one of the nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. People have legal protection from being discriminated against because of religion or belief, or lack of religion or belief, under the Act. They also have an absolute right to hold (with a qualified right to manifest) a religion or belief under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

The information on these pages set out what employers need to know about religion or belief. Employers are not expected to be experts on religion or belief. In most cases, taking a common sense approach will help you to resolve issues that might arise and avoid acting unlawfully.

Our resources were developed and tested with employers and representatives of religion or belief organisations.

Last updated: 30 Jul 2019

Further information

If you think you might have been treated unfairly and want further advice, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Phone: 0808 800 0082

You can email using the contact form on the EASS website.

Also available through the website are BSL interpretation, web chat services and a contact us form.


Opening hours:

9am to 7pm Monday to Friday
10am to 2pm Saturday
closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays

Alternatively, you can visit our advice and guidance page.