March 30, 2015 | By Parmjeet Singh
London, England: Earlier employment laws had exempted turban wearers from the requirement to wear a safety helmet on construction sites. But the exemption did not apply to less hazardous environments, such as factories and warehouses.
According to the Sikh Council UK the rules had led to a number of cases where Sikhs faced disciplinary hearings and were dismissed from longstanding employment for their refusal to remove their turban and wear a safety helmet.
An amendment to extend the exemption in the Employment Act was introduced to the Deregulation Bill last year, following lobbying by Sikh groups.
Secretary General of Sikh Council UK, Gurmel Singh said, “We are pleased that our long campaign has enabled a vital change in the law.
“It will make a real difference to Sikhs in the UK by increasing the number of workplaces that members of the community can work in whilst maintaining their religiously mandated identity.”
There will still be limited exceptions where safety helmets will be required, such as for specific roles in the armed forces and emergency response situations.