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HR Network FAQ
As a Christian organisation, is it legal for us to advertise a post specifying that it needs to be filled by a Christian?
According to the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003 it is illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion or belief.
However, there is an exception. If the organisation demonstrates that it has a Christian ethos, then in some cases it can be valid to specify that a Christian is required for a particular role. Documentation, such as an ethos statement, will help justify such a claim.
Organisations cannot adopt a blanket approach and automatically deem all positions to be filled by Christians. For each post that becomes vacant, there needs to be evidence that the faith element of the role is significant and that it would not be possible for someone of no faith or another faith to do the job. It also needs to be shown that these elements would not be easily transferred to another person’s job.
If there is a genuine occupational requirement (GOR) for the post-holder to be a Christian, this has to be made clear from the start. Advertisements and material sent to candidates applying for the job need to state clearly that a GOR exists for the post.