Church of seventh-day Adventists in Jamaica recently urged employers in the private and public sectors with a call to respect the constitutional rights of workers to freedom from religious discrimination.
The appeal was referred the report of the National workers Union (NWU), which, among other things, stated that the working of the Petroleum company of Jamaica (PETCOM) was suspended payment December 2017, as he refused to work on Saturday, his day of worship.
Nigel cook, Director, communications, external relations and religious freedom of the Church in Jamaica, said he spoke to workers at the end of July and that he believes that his rights have been violated.
“Based on what was presented to me a work and NWU seems there is a clear and gross violation of employee’s right to his freedom of religion,” said Kok.
A few days after filing an appeal from the Church PETCOM representatives said in a statement that the employee will be allowed to return on 30 July 2018.
“It’s a small win,” said Kok. He added that a few members had similar problems with the work this year.
“We regret that some employers even refuse to hire qualified persons on the basis of religious beliefs or practices of these individuals,” said Kok.
Cook said that the student was registered in the national program of summer work, refused to work and was sent home after hearing that he can’t work on Saturdays. “The Church intervened and he too was restored to begin work on July 30,” said Kok.
“The practice of these employers is contrary to the constitutional rights of workers and job-seekers, and does not correspond to the law on flexible working week that allows the employee to choose the day of rest to use as a day of worship if he or she so desires, without any consequences from the employer, explained Kok.
Kok as General Secretary of the National Association of religious freedom Jamaica, pointed to the provisions of the Charter of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. He also mentioned the employment Act (flexible employment agreements) (other provisions) from 2014 and its impact on the changing of section 2 of the employment relations Act and industrial disputes. The provisions of both public laws make religious discrimination labor dispute that has the right resolution.
“As a Church, we welcome the support of trade unions in this critical issue. [We also] call on the support of employers ‘associations to join efforts to promote and strengthen respect for workers’ rights in relation to their freedom from religious discrimination in the workplace,” said Kok.