Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith launched the Board of Deputies’ Employer’s Guide to Judaism in London last night with a call to employers to ensure there is no religious discrimination or “bullying” in the workplace.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “Nobody should feel they have to choose between their faith and their job. And, certainly, nobody should be harassed, bullied, or intimidated at work because of their religion. Work should be a place of dignity and respect, an environment where the talents and skills of different groups are valued.”
The 14-page Employers Guide to Judaism which is available in print and online on the Board’s website explains Jewish law and practice to employers who have Jewish employees, and is designed to offer support on how to overcome any hurdles. It is intended to ensure that there is no conflict between being an observant Jew and a fully contributing member of the workforce. There are sections of Shabbat and holiday observance as well as kosher food requirements and practices and the legal rights of employees in the event of a dispute with their employer.
Mr Duncan Smith said: “I read through this guide and I thought it was another example of the tireless work of the Board to promote equality, religious freedom and hopefully understanding.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to again thank the Board of Deputies for all the work you do to improve both the lives of Jewish communities and wider society.”
A message from the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, was read out by Board Vice President Marie van der Zyl out at the event, held at the offices of Gordon Dadds law firm. He wrote: “We are deeply proud to have had successive UK governments which have taken steps to ensure that there should be no conflict between living a life of religious faith and building a successful career.”
Board Chief Executive Gillian Merron and Governmental Affairs Officer Marcelle Palmer also spoke at the event.
You can read the Employers Guide here.
Photo: (left to right) Marie van der Zyl, Iain Duncan Smith and Gillian Merron with the Employer’s Guide to Judaism