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Sikhs permitted to wear turbans in place of safety helmetsPosted on 30/04/2015

Following a fight by Sikh groups across the UK, turban wearers will no longer face discrimination at work.

An amendment to the 1989 Employment Act enables Sikhs to wear turbans in all work places instead of safety helmets.

Various groups have fought for the past 10 years to change a loophole present in the law. Previously, the law allowed Sikhs to wear a turban on construction sites, where the environment was considered high risk. However, in places of work where the risk was considerably less significant, like warehouses and factories, they were not permitted to replace safety helmets with turbans.

According to the Sikh Council UK, a large number of people have been dismissed from their employment as they had refused to wear safety helmets in place of their turban, on religious grounds.

Others had been forced to attend disciplinary hearings. Following extensive lobbying, an amendment to the original law, which permitted turbans in high-risk work places, was introduced last year to the Deregulation Bill.

In response to the changes, Gurmel Singh, the Secretary General of Sikh Council UK, said the amendment will make a difference to Sikhs in Britain, as it will greatly increase the number of workplaces that they can consider for their careers.

However, people in some roles will still be forced to wear safety helmets, as part of the legal requirements to wear the necessary protective workwear. This includes emergency response units and the armed forces.

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