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Religion or Belief

Religion or Belief is one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. The Act aims to protect people from direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation on the basis of religion or belief. You can read more about the Equality Act here. On this page you will find:

If you'd like to learn more about religion and belief and can't find what you need here, contact us and let us know.


Definition of 'Religion or Belief' in the Equality Act

Religion and belief discrimination applies to those with a religion or belief or on the basis of a lack of a religion or belief.

This includes philosophical beliefs, if they are genuinely held, more than an opinion, and apply to an important aspect of human life or behaviour. To be covered by the Equality Act, beliefs must not affect other people’s fundamental rights.


Religion and Belief Profile at Warwick

32.4% of Warwick staff disclosed a religion (the sector average is 19%).

Religion Warwick Sector average
No religion 30.8% 21.2%
Christian 26% 17%
Muslim 2.3% 1.4%
Hindu 1.9% 0.8%
Sikh 1.5% 0.3%
Any other Religion/Belief 1.2% 1.5%
Buddhist 0.9% 0.4%
Spiritual 0.7% 0.5%
Jewish 0.3% 0.3%

The statistics and infographic above are from our Equality Monitoring Annual Report, which you can find on the Data and Reports webpage.

You can find more data on religion on the Office for National Statistics website.


Prayer Facilities

In the 2019 International Student Barometer, the faith provisions at the University of Warwick were voted Number 1 amongst cooperating institutions in the UK, across Europe, and worldwide, and we are justly proud of this.

There are a number of prayer facilities on campus, you can find location and access information on the Chaplaincy webpages.


Time for Prayer and/or Religious Festivals

If you receive a request for time off for a religious festival, you should treat it as a request for annual leave, completed on the appropriate annual leave form and approve it wherever possible. If this is not possible for good operational reasons you should explain the situation to see if a compromise may be reached. Ultimately annual leave is authorised at the discretion of management, but should be based on sound reasoning. It may be worthwhile discussing such a request with your link HR Adviser before refusing.

For prayer, the University does not have to release staff outside normal rest breaks or holiday periods. However, staff may request that their rest break/lunch break coincide with their religious obligations to pray at certain times of the day. You may be justified in refusing such a request if it conflicts with legitimate business needs, which are unable to be met in any other way. If you are unable to justify such a refusal this may be discrimination.


Sources of Information and Support

You may also be interested in:

Staff Networks - including Multi-Faith Staff Network

Taskforces and SIC - including Chaplaincy Reference Group

Training, Guidance, and Resources