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QLD Long Hair because of Religious Beliefs - Discrimination under Employment Law?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Nathan1980, 12 March 2015.

  1. Nathan1980

    Nathan1980 Member

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    In Qld I have a friend who works in the security industry. He has been growing his hair long due to his beliefs. He is frightened he will be discriminated against by his employer which says in their standard operating procedure to the effect of 'hair must not extend beyond the collar'. He also is frightened because he wears his religious symbol on a pin on his tie and he has been asked to remove it. Does my friend have any right? I know religious discrimination as well as hair length is a touchy subject with employers and thought I would try help him out with any information which can be provided under employment law. I have found certain information but it contradicts other information I found. Any information will be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Nathan1980,

    Check out this site at the equal opportunity commission. Frequently Asked Questions | Equal Opportunity Commission (SA)

    It suggests that making blanket rules such as requiring all male staff to be clean shaven and have short hair may discriminate against some whose religious beliefs would not allow this. Therefore, with the hair - he may have a case...Unless the short hair rule is for a health and safety requirement or for functional reasons - I know a lot of security guards shave their head because if they get into a scuffle there is less for someone to grab hold off and take you down. His religion may not harmonise with his job choice if this is the case.

    As for the tie pin - is it against his religion not to wear it? Or is he just wearing it because he likes to. There is a difference. I'm sure many people would like to advertise their religious affiliation or believe system but in some circumstances (employment included) its just not appropriate. There is a point where the religious discrimination thing is taken too far and people make a song and dance about something trivial just to make a point. Its wise to discuss things openly with your employer and appreciate the reasons for their rules.
     
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  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    In the security industry having long hair and wearing sharp objects can be argued against on safety grounds.

    I agree with Sophea. If your mate is unhappy, he is free to find other work where this is not an issue.
     
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