In a historic ruling in UK, turban-wearing Sikhs will now have the right to choose not to wear head gears or safety helmets at most workplaces. They would now also be legally exempted from any requirements to wear them in most workplaces.
The ruling was announced by UK’s minister of employment Priti Patel yesterday and it will come into effect on October 7.
According to Patel, a new clause that was added to the Deregulation Bill 2015 states that should an individual suffer injuries as a consequence of not wearing head protection, the employers would be legally protected through the extension of limited liability and would could not be held responsible for the injury. For more than two decades turban wearing Sikhs in construction industry have been exempted from the rules requiring head protection.
Those who work in less dangerous industries such as factories and warehouses were not exempted from these rules due to a legal loophole.
The consequences of this loophole was that many times Sikhs in different jobs faced the risk of disciplinary action or even dismissal if they chose to wear turbans rather than the required head gear.
Patel did make clear that there are exclusions in this rule for emergency response services and the military. This exception will apply only in hazardous operational situations when the wearing of a safety helmet is considered necessary. This will not bar any Sikhs from the armed forces or police and fire services, and this clause will make no blanket ban on participation by turban wearing Sikhs.