Iain Duncan Smith warns against ‘bullying’ in the workplace at launch of Board’s Employer’s Guide to Judaism

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith launched the Board of Deputies’ Employer’s Guide to Judaism in London last night with a call to employers to ensure there is no religious discrimination or “bullying” in the workplace.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “Nobody should feel they have to choose between their faith and their job. And, certainly, nobody should be harassed, bullied, or intimidated at work because of their religion. Work should be a place of dignity and respect, an environment where the talents and skills of different groups are valued.”

The 14-page Employers Guide to Judaism which is available in print and online on the Board’s website explains Jewish law and practice to employers who have Jewish employees, and is designed to offer support on how to overcome any hurdles. It is intended to ensure that there is no conflict between being an observant Jew and a fully contributing member of the workforce. There are sections of Shabbat and holiday observance as well as kosher food requirements and practices and the legal rights of employees in the event of a dispute with their employer.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “I read through this guide and I thought it was another example of the tireless work of the Board to promote equality, religious freedom and hopefully understanding.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to again thank the Board of Deputies for all the work you do to improve both the lives of Jewish communities and wider society.”

A message from the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, was read out by Board Vice President Marie van der Zyl out at the event, held at the offices of Gordon Dadds law firm. He wrote: “We are deeply proud to have had successive UK governments which have taken steps to ensure that there should be no conflict between living a life of religious faith and building a successful career.”

Board Chief Executive Gillian Merron and Governmental Affairs Officer Marcelle Palmer also spoke at the event.

You can read the Employers Guide here.

Photo: (left to right) Marie van der Zyl, Iain Duncan Smith and Gillian Merron with the Employer’s Guide to Judaism

Keep Informed

Sign up for our weekly briefing, delivered to your inbox every Thursday, giving you up to date news on events and activists of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, as well as the activities of member organisations and partners. 
Subscribe to Community Briefing

Donate

The Board of Deputies relies on the generous support of the Jewish community through individual contributions and donations. Help us be the voice of the British Jewish community by donating today. All funds received go to our core charitable mission.
Donate
CONTACT US

The Board of Deputies of British Jews
tel: +44 (0)20 7543 5400
email: info@bod.org.uk

Registered Office
2nd Floor
55 Ludgate Hill
London
UNITED KINGDOM
EC4M 7JW

Press Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7543 5437
mobile: +44 (0)7957 962 080
email: simon.round@bod.org.uk

Join Us

Is your synagogue or organisation thinking of joining the Board of Deputies?

Contact: representation@bod.org.uk for further information about what is involved, the election timetable and procedures.

Charitable activities with which the Board are identified are funded by The Board of Deputies Charitable Foundation (Registered Charity No. 1058107), a company limited by guarantee and registered in England (No. 3239086). © Board of Deputies of British Jews, 2023.