Christmas Carols? Mind the discrimination claim.

Publication: The Brief

It’s the heart of the Christmas holiday period – tinsel and baubles are liberally strewn across desks, monitors and just about any feasible spot in offices across the country. So employees and their bosses can be forgiven for getting carried away with the Christmas cheer.

But not everyone celebrates Christmas, and the over-the-top conviviality at this time of year could run the risk of straying into discriminatory practice. Indeed, could the very fact of decorations clogging up the workplace be strong grounds for a discrimination claim from an employee not celebrating the holiday?

Under the Equality Act 2010, traditional customs such as Christmas decorations are not banned through its religious discrimination provisions. Indeed, these types of decoration are not inherently religious and are instead considered secular. This means it would be very difficult to get a religious discrimination claim off the ground on the basis of being fed up with having to plough through a forest of tinsel-bedecked trees and snowmen chains.

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