CHAPTER 3: You don’t notice it unless it directly affects you
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When we asked about specific workplace provisions, we found that many HR Managers were trying hard to make this work. But among workers, people either didn’t know or notice what was on offer or, conversely, wished their employer was doing more.

 

Unsurprisingly, the workers who were most likely to say their employer offers various workplace provisions for religious practice were those who appeared to be practising their faith actively. While just 19% of workers say that their employer makes provision for prayer during working hours, this figure rises to 31% among those who attend religious services (other than weddings or funerals) once a month or more.

 

Similarly, just 11% of workers who do not have access to plan their working hours around holy days or religious festivals say they would definitely or be very likely to make use of this if it were available. However, for those who attend religious services weekly or once a month this appears to be more important. Two in five of these people (42%) say that they would definitely or be very likely to use the provisions.

 

Eight in ten (80%) HR Managers say that their organisation provides written policies on religion and belief.

 

Q: Below is a list of diversity and inclusion related issues. For each of the areas, please state whether or not your organisation provides written policies which everyone can easily access?

Yes No Don’t know
Race 85% 12% 3%
Disability 83% 11% 5%
Religion and belief 80% 14% 7%
Sex (as in gender) 80% 13% 7%
Age 80% 16% 5%
Sexual orientation 73% 19% 7%
Gender reassignment 55% 29% 17%
Base: All HR Managers (n=251)

 

HR Managers who work for companies with 50-499 employees (67%) are less likely than those working for companies with 500 employees or more (86%) to say their organisation provides written policies on religion which everyone can easily access.

 

Although based on a small number of respondents, HR Managers who say they are not confident responding to diversity and inclusion issues related to religion (31%) are significantly more likely than those who say they are confident (11%), to say their organisation does not provide written policies on religion and belief. This may suggest that written policies are important in confirming to HR Managers that this is a priority, and in providing clear procedures for them to follow when required.

 

Q: Does your employer make provision for people to do any of the following during working hours?

Q: As far as you are aware, does your organisation make provisions for people who wish to do the following, and if so what provisions are you able to make?

Base: All employees (n=984); All HR Managers (n=251)

 

Our survey findings did not definitively explain why this was the case. Perhaps it’s because those who attend religious services regularly are more aware of their employer’s provision, or because they actively seek employment opportunities where prayer provision is available, or because they have asked their employer to make it available.

 

Importantly, although based on a small number of respondents, HR Managers who are confident in responding to issues related to religion (45%) are significantly more likely than those who are not confident (20%) to say their organisation offers employees provisions to pray at work.

 

A substantial majority of HR Managers say that employees use workplace provisions for religious observance to a great extent or to some extent. 

 

 Q: And to the best of your knowledge, to what extent, if at all, do people in your workplace use the provisions available for the following?

Base: All answering praying at work (n=106); observing holy days and religious festivals (n=93); the practice of wearing certain clothes because of religious beliefs (n=79); the practice of eating certain food because of religious beliefs (n=67)

 

Q: And if your employer did make provisions for people who wish to plan their working hours around holy days or religious festivals (such as Eid, Holi festival, Tet etc.) how likely would you be to use this?

Base: All workers whose employers do not make a provision (n=559)

 

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