UNITED SIKHS works with Halfords to confirm that a Sikh may wear a Kirpan on their premises
Halfords, the UK’s leading retailer of leisure and automotive products, and the UK’s leading operator in garage servicing and auto repair, has introduced new guidance to support Sikhs and confirm that Sikhs may wear their articles of faith, including the Kirpan, on all Halfords premises.
Birmingham, UK – UNITED SIKHS are pleased to announce that we have been working with Halfords Group PLC to introduce new guidance confirming that Sikhs may wear their articles of faith, including the Kirpan, for Amritdhari Sikhs (initiated Sikhs who have taken Amrit), on all Halfords premises.
Halfords is the UK’s leading retailer of leisure and automotive products, and the UK’s leading operator in garage servicing and auto repair, with offices, Distribution Centres, Autocentres and over 460 Retail Stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Halfords was named one of the Sunday Times “25 Best Big Companies to Work For 2015”.
This collaboration came about when Manjinder Singh, an Amritdhari Sikh from Coventry, contacted UNITED SIKHS because of a lack of clarity in Halfords’ policy in respect of wearing the Kirpan.
Manjinder Singh of Coventry, UK
Once alerted to this issue, Halfords:
- Apologised if Sikh sentiments were hurt due to any confusion in relation to the drafting of their original Health and Safety policy and prepared new guidance clarifying that there is no conflict between Health and Safety rules prohibiting the use of knives (other than safety knives) within their Distribution Centres and the right of Amritdhari Sikhs (initiated Sikhs who have taken Amrit) who want to wear the Kirpan, a Sikh article of faith which an initiated Sikh is mandated to wear at all times.
- Halfords will also be addressing this issue during Health and Safety training in their distribution centres.
- Halfords is actively promoting this to all its colleagues in furtherance of its commitment to equality and tolerance, values which are passionately shared by UNITED SIKHS.
- Halfords will also be briefing employees involved in conducting job interviews to ensure that any questions raised by Sikh applicants can be answered appropriately. As Halfords has explained, Sikhs are welcome to wear all five articles of faith on Halfords premises.
“We are delighted to have worked with Halfords on this important issue and hope Halfords’ actions send an encouraging signal to other employers. We are also grateful to Starck Uberoi, specialist Human Rights Solicitors, who assisted in drafting the clarification of the policy, and Manjinder Singh, who put us in touch with Halfords Group PLC,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, International Legal Director of UNITED SIKHS.”I welcome that Halfords has apologised if Sikh sentiments were hurt due to the lack of clarity. I would like to encourage Sikhs to practise their faith freely at their workplace and to contact UNITED SIKHS if they need any help regarding their rights,” said Manjinder Singh.
If you have any questions or concerns about your rights at work please contact UNITED SIKHS through our Know Your Religious Freedom Rights reporting site at http://unitedsikhs.org/KnowYourReligiousFreedomRights/
International Legal Director, UNITED SIKHS