UK to lift curbs on turbans at work

LONDON (TIP): A landmark rule will come into effect from Sept 30 to lift all restrictions on wearing turbans to work across the UK.

Turban-wearing Sikhs will now have the right to choose not to wear head protection and will be exempt from legal requirements to wear a safety helmet in most workplaces, according to the UK’s minister of employment Priti Patel.

A new clause into the Deregulation Bill 2015 says that should an individual suffer injuries as a consequence of not wearing head protection employers will be legally protected through the extension of limited liability.

Patel said that for more than two decades, Sikhs working in the construction in dustry have been exempted from rules requiring head protection -but because of a legal loophole, those in less dangerous industries, such as those working in factories and warehouses, were not.This meant that Sikhs in many jobs who chose to wear turbans rather than the required head protection could be at risk of disciplinary action or even dismissal.

There are exclusions for emergency response services and the military , which apply only in hazardous operational situations when the wearing of a safety helmet is considered necessary .

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This will not bar Sikhs from the armed forces or police and fire services and this clause will make no blanket ban on participation by turban wearing Sikhs.

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