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Government needs to take the lead on freedom of religion at work

This week, the Catholic Union was back in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for talks about religious freedom in the workplace.

Director, Nigel Parker, and Deputy Director, James Somerville-Meikle, met representatives from the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom or Belief along with representatives from Christians in Government.

The meeting was convened following a survey of Catholic Union members and supporters earlier this year, in which almost one in three responders said they had been disadvantaged at work because of their faith. The vast majority of these incidents took place in the public sector.

Nigel and James shared the findings of the survey with those in the meeting and discussed what practical steps would help Catholics, and other people of faith, in the workplace.

The Cabinet Office has produced draft guidance around gender identity which states that civil servants should equally recognise “gender critical beliefs” and “gender identity beliefs”. While the guidance is still in draft, it has been welcomed as a positive step by the Catholic Union.

The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss the Catholic Union’s response to the recent report from the Government’s Faith Engagement Review and work to improve religious literacy across Government.