Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Pagans and druids could get time off work to celebrate solstices and equinoxes at Stonehenge

Pagans and druids could be allowed time off to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes at Stonehenge and Avebury, while nurses in West hospitals could be allowed to ask to pray for their patients as well as care for them, under new guidance for bosses published yesterday.

Need time off work to celebrate the solstice? New guidance suggests this should be possible for pagans and druids
The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s new document comes after a series of high-profile cases involving largely Christian workers disciplined or fired for claiming they were discriminated against because of their religion. but one lost those cases, but the new guidance follows that single victory, which involved a Christian woman working for British Airways being allowed to wear a cross. The EHRC’s guidance states that employers should respect the beliefs of their employees and “consider seriously” adapting work practices to suit those beliefs.
In practice, that could mean anything from allowing workers to wear Christian symbols to giving pagans time off at the time of the key dates in their calendars.

Thousands of pagans and druids flock to Stonehenge and Avebury for sunrise on December 21 and on June 21, with a regular turn-out at Avebury for a dozen or more pagan festivals throughout the year.
But the EHRC guidance was criticised yesterday for suggesting going even further in employers’ rights.
It states that vegetarians or vegans could legitimately refuse to handle meat, or even sit on leather chairs, while eco-warriors could refuse to fly in an aeroplane if their beliefs are that strong that they refuse on environmental grounds.
The guidance insists that such beliefs should be “more than an opinion or a viewpoint”, and should be “genuinely and sincerely held and worthy of respect in a democratic society”.
What the guidelines could also do is give greater weight to some employees requests for longer holidays – particularly Muslims to attend the Haj pilgrimage, or for other workers from around the world to return for festivals.
A recent case, which is still to be settled, involved Goan Indian workers at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon claiming, among other things, that bosses discriminated against them by not allowing them enough time off in one go to return to Goa for festivals.
The guidance document included a set of hypothetical situations, including that a Christian nurse should not be disciplined for asking a patient if they could pray for them – as long as it is made clear that there is no pressure on the patient to agree.
The EHRC says that requests for religious observance – like a Jew leaving early on a Friday or a Muslim praying five times a day – should be allowed if it does not adversely affect other team members.
Full story: http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Pagans-druids-time-work-celebrate-solstices/story-18653399-detail/story.html#axzz2Q2V3xqaN

Stonehenge Tour Guide

No comments:

Post a Comment