Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Firms told to tackle sectarianism

office keyboard
Researchers say sectarianism still exists in the workplace

Employers should be legally required to monitor sectarian incidents at work, according to a new report.

The study, commissioned by the unions' organisation, the STUC, found that religious prejudice remained a force in the Scottish workplace.

It advised firms to develop clear anti-sectarian policies, and guidelines on how bigotry should be reported.

It said examples of discrimination were not typical but gave ground for serious concern.

The report was drawn up by researchers at the University of Strathclyde who interviewed union officials and took the views of focus groups.

They concluded that "real progress" had been made in reducing sectarianism, but that it remained a force in the Scottish workplace.

'Blatant discrimination'

As a result the report recommended there should be "clear guidance" on not dismissing prejudiced comments as workplace banter or humour.

It advised employers to draw up anti-sectarian polices, and for workforces to be actively involved.

It called for firms to have procedures for removing graffiti and guidelines on how sectarianism should be reported and how offenders would be penalised.

The study found that examples of discrimination were not typical, but they gave ground for serious concern that in a few workplaces "various forms of blatant discrimination do still remain in force."

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