Prayer is an important part of religious belief for many employees around Australia.
Some people may request short breaks from work for special prayers or observances. Providing a quiet room for the purposes of prayer and contemplation in the workplace can assist employees to meet their religious duties, with minimal disruption to their work commitments.
Example: A Muslim employee is required to observe an important prayer at midday on Fridays.
Organisations should not discriminate against an employee because he or she needs to pray. While discrimination in employment on the basis of religion is not unlawful under federal anti-discrimination law, the Commission may investigate complaints and, where appropriate, try to resolve them by conciliation.
However, discrimination related to religion, religious conviction, religious belief or religious activity can be unlawful under the laws of the ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
- The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Complaint Process: for complaints about discrimination in employment based on religion, criminal record, trade union activity, political opinion and social origin
- Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission: A guide for employers working with Muslim employees