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Religion or Belief

7. Religion or Belief

Last Updated: August 2020

According to the Equality Act 2010, religion or belief discrimination is when someone is treated differently because of the religious views or beliefs that they hold. This can occur due to a one-off action, or can be caused by a rule or policy. Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be unlawful, however in some cases being treated differently due to religion or belief is lawful – further information on these lawful exceptions can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

In the Equality Act 2010, a religion must have a clear structure and belief system in order to be labelled as such, and a belief must be held truly and more strongly than an opinion, applying to a serious, meaningful element of human experience.

There are different forms of discrimination concerning religion or belief including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

At SVC, we are committed to promoting and developing equality, diversity and inclusion in our actions, projects, and practices.

  1. Our Equal Opportunities 2020 policy outlines that religion or belief discrimination (please note our policy labels this ‘religious background’) is unlawful. Please read the policy for more information;
  2. Anyone involved in SVC is encouraged to report any form of discrimination concerning religion or belief to SVC staff, SVC Board of Trustees, or the HR department at Innovate Trust. Please read our Problem Solving Procedure 2020 for more information;
  3. According to SVC’s Annual Report 2019-2020 our volunteers were:

    42.5% no religion
    19.9% Christian
    11% Atheist
    9.7% Muslim
    8% prefer not to say
    3.7% Agnostic 
    3.2% Hindu
    0.4% Buddhist, Sikh and Jewish

    Accordingly, SVC commits to promoting volunteering opportunities widely in order to recruit a more representative demographic of volunteers;
  4. SVC will ensure Risk Assessments and reasonable adjustments are put in place that are related to religion or belief;
  5. Please see SVC’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement and Commitments page for more commitments.


Equality Human Rights Website (2020) Religion or Belief Discrimination. Available at:,What%20is%20religion%20or%20belief%20discrimination%3F,of%20a%20rule%20or%20policy.

SVC’s Policies and Procedures (2020) Equal Opportunities Policy. Available at: