The Equalities and Human Right Commission (EHRC) of the UK said employers should stop ruining Christmas for workers through fear of offending people of other faiths, The Independent reports.
EHRC Chairman David Isaac said British employers have been avoiding Christmas decorations, parties, and even saying “Merry Christmas” in the workplace so as not to offend non-Christians. This has been done for years and Isaac clarified that the law doesn’t forbid celebrating Christmas among workers.
“Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and it shouldn’t be suppressed through fear of offending. Lots of employers have now become really worried about doing anything discriminatory regarding their Muslim or Jewish staff,” Isaac told Sunday Times.
Employers have been fearful of offending someone that they unnecessarily drop references to Christmas. They’ve taken to “extreme and disproportionate behavior” for political correctness. For example, one manager put up a Christmas tree but made his employees call it a “festive tree.”
Isaac said there are some steps that can be done to avoid giving offense during the holiday season such as providing some dishes that can be eaten by other colleagues. Preparing pork-free, gluten-free, meat-free dishes and other similar types of dishes shows consideration and politeness to co-employees.
“It is ok to hold a party and to send Christmas cards. Most Muslims and Jews that I know adhere to their own religious beliefs of course, but to some extent acknowledge that Christmas happens and to some extent, with a small ‘c’, celebrate it. This is people’s lived experience and we need to reflect it,” Isaac explained.
Independentcouk. (2016). The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/christmas-celebrations-suppressed-fear-offending-ehrc-david-isaac-a7441896.html
Inquisitrcom. (2016). The Inquisitr News. http://www.inquisitr.com/3748476/christmas-is-back-in-british-workplaces-human-rights-boss-wants-companies-to-stop-caving-to-political-correctness-bring-back-holiday/