Sunday, 11 May 2003

Archbishops' Council seeks opt-out

This concerns the Archbishops’ Council response to an EU directive banning discrimination in employment on grounds of religious belief or sexual orientation.

The following item is excerpted from the Church Times of 9 May (not on their website):

The Archbishops’ Council is seeking to secure an opt-out from parts of the EU legislation, via a clause inserted into the government proposals which would declare:

Nothing in Parts II to IV of these Regulations shall render unlawful anything done for the purposes of or in connection with an organised religion so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion or avoid offending the religious susceptibilities of a significant number of its followers.

The Council was responding to a DTI consultation, which closed in January amid protest from faith-based groups that the proposed new laws would substantially restrict the freedom of Churches and other religious bodies to employ staff who were practising believers.

Parliament will now debate the legislation, which is expected to be implemented in December.

This proposed wording is quite extraordinary in its scope and vagueness, and I am going to follow the story closely and post more about it as it develops.

Today’s Independent on Sunday carries this story with further details.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 11 May 2003 at 5:49 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Employment Equality