A recent ET judgment suggests there is no guarantee to long periods of time off for religious reasons. In Garedu v London Underground the ET held the Respondent was right to reject the Claimant’s request to five weeks off in summer to attend a religious festival in Italy, his country of origin.
The Claimant had been granted the time off several times in the past but following a change in management his request was rejected as the Claimant worked in a small team and it would not be fair on other staff who would be less able to take holiday over the summer in his absence.
The ET rejected the claim stating that attending five weeks’ of Catholic festivals was not a requirement of his faith, merely a personal preference. This judgment allows employers greater flexibility when dealing with requests for excessively long periods of time off for religious reasons. Read more on religious discrimination.