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Last updated: 2002-12-17

Barbara Roche MP, Deputy Minister for Women and Minister for Social Exclusion, has launched two new employment handbooks published by the Board of Deputies at a reception last Wednesday night.

The handbooks have been produced in order to assist employers in accommodating the requirements of practising Jews in the workplace. Aimed at non-Jewish employers and at Jewish employees they explain the nature of requirements such as Shabbat, Festivals, clothing, food and bereavement, and offer advice as to how they can best be accommodated.

Honorary Officers of the Board were joined by representatives from the Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Muslim, Hare Krishna, Hindu and Christian Communities, as well as civil servants from the GLA, the Metropolitan Police, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Home Office. Praising the Board for its pioneering work in combating religious discrimination in the workplace, Barbara Roche told the gathering that she was proud of “her” community. She also noted that reducing religious discrimination was not only a moral and civic duty; it was also beneficial to the economy and thus to society at large.

Senior Vice President Henry Grunwald QC said:
“The Board is immensely proud of its achievement in producing the employment handbooks. Representatives of other religious communities were highly complimentary and hoped to make similar pamphlets with regard to their own faith communities.

“We very much hope that our guidance will go a long way towards informing employers and employees about the best way of creating a more harmonious and understanding working environment for all.”