Religion continues to make its way into the amalgam of European workplaces. For some members of
Europe’s increasingly diverse workforce, deeply-rooted religious beliefs and practices cannot simply be
checked in during work hours.
In recent years, employees have claimed accommodation of their religious beliefs and practices before the
national courts and the European Court of Human Rights. For instance, in the UK and the Netherlands,
pious Catholics have sought to wear visible crucifixes with their uniforms. In Germany, the issue of public
school teachers wearing an Islamic headscarf was hotly debated and remains controversial. In Denmark,
grocery store clerks have won, and then again lost, claims to wear Islamic headscarves on the job. In
Belgium, job seekers have sought to retain state unemployment benefits after refusing or resigning from
positions that contradict with their religious obligations.
Various jurisdictions have reached divergent results, with judicial decisions affecting the public perception
of religious conflicts in the context of labour relations. Because religious claims potentially conflict with
other rights and interests in the workplace, a delicate balance must be stricken between a multitude of
factors, perspectives and values. The question is what judges, policy makers and employers managing
religious pluralism in the workplace can learn from the experiences in other countries.
We are interested in symposium papers addressing emerging questions at the intersection of religion, law
and the workplace.
Religare Project Researcher Katayoun Alidadi at email@example.com
Catholic University Leuven (Belgium)
3000- Leuven Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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