Reinhold Fahlbeck, 'Ora et Labora – On Freedom of Religion at the Work Place: A Stakeholder cum Balancing Factors Model' (2004) 20 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Issue 1, pp. 27–64
Abstract: Religious pluralism has become a fact in most European countries. So have religious manifestations and symbols in schools and at places of work, in particular non-Christian, the Muslim scarf being the most controversial case. The purpose of this article is to analyse and reflect on the extent to which it is possible to combine work and religious manifestations in Europe today. The article focuses on the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and case law under it but discusses some national law as well. The text is problem-oriented, abstaining from providing even a cursory survey of freedom of religion under the Convention. Five areas are singled out for analysis. They all pit freedom to manifest religion against some other value, from (1) the supra-norm of democracy via (2) freedom from religion, (3) right to gender equality and (4) freedom of contract to (5) mundane norms concerning the management and running of private enterprises. The balancing of competing interests is shown often to be of a most delicate nature. To conclude, a model for resolving competing interests is presented. It involves two components: schemes (1) to determine the stakeholders and (2) to assess the character in various respects of the interests of each stakeholder.
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