Relaymedia

Religion Presence Is 'More Visible' In French Work Places, Conflicts Rising

( [email protected] ) Sep 23, 2016 04:55 PM EDT
Signs and items reflecting religion in work places throughout France are increasing. With that growing presence has come more religion-based conflicts, a new study found. Called "More Visible," the report was published on Thursday by the Observatory for Religion in the Workplace and the Randstad Institute.
There is a growing presence of religion in work places in France, and with it comes a growing amount of religion-based conflicts, a new study by the Observatory for Religion in the Workplace and the Randstad Institute found. Reuters

Signs and items reflecting religion in work places throughout France are increasing. With that growing presence has come more religion-based conflicts, a new study found. Called "More Visible," the report was published on Thursday by the Observatory for Religion in the Workplace and the Randstad Institute.

The study established that 65 percent of workers say they have seen signs of religion in the workplace over the past year, report The Local. The percentage was a significant jump from the 50 percent who said the same thing in the previous, annual survey.

The study reportedly took into account all religions.

Among these reports of religion at the workplace, 21 percent of managers said they had come across people wearing religious symbols; 18 percent said they'd had people asking for time off work for religious purposes; and 8 percent said they had come across people praying during a break. 

"The majority of the time, these instances do not hinder the work," Lionel Honoré, director of the observatory, told Le Figaro newspaper

However, conflicts caused by displays of religion are increasing, too, according to the study. Of those questioned, 9 percent said that religion had caused some kind of conflict in the workplace, compared with 6 percent in 2014. The most commonly occurring conflict was men refusing to report to a female supervisor, an aspect that was reported in 4 percent of cases. 

One percent of conflict cases involved people refusing to work with anyone who didn't practice the same religion. 

"Employees are less hesitant about making requests to their superiors in line with their beliefs and religious practices," concluded the report, which also found sources of conflict included wearing of religious symbols (by 17 percent of respondents) and dislike about colleagues requesting time off for religious holidays (19 percent), reports CIPD.

While new labor laws in France spell out that work places need to respect people's fundamental rights and freedoms, such as gender equality, The Local reported many managers are still uncertain what their legal rights are when such cases erupt. 

French government officials announced plans to release a specific guide on religion in the workplace. Due to be published in October, the guide is expected to explain employee and employer rights related to religious confrontations at work. The guide reportedly will outline 39 specific cases as examples.  

France's controversial approach to religious clothing made world headlines this summer after a slew of coastal towns, most on the Riviera, banned the "burkini." The bans have since been overturned by France's highest court, but not before a huge debate kicked off, reminiscent of the country's 2010 ban on the burqa. 

 

 

Tags : religion and work, French religion, France religion, religion in work place study, More Visible, Observatory for Religion in the Workplace, Lionel Honoré, Randstad Institute, religion and jobs, Religious Freedom, religious liberty, labor laws, religious conflicts