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June 30, 2022

Empowering Ummah

ABN 98 163 220 438

The Right to Pray at Workplace

In 2002, an Australian Muslim employee was denied his fundamental right to exercise his religion at workplace by his employer. The employee was subjected to repeated warnings and threats of dismissal. The employee took the case to the Australian Industrial Commission (AIC) for a ruling because these were short prayer breaks at lunch time and in the afternoon which did not interfere with his work or the quality of work he produced.

However before the Industrial Commission could make a ruling on the matter, the employer, TPG made a compromise and reinstated the employee and allowed him to pray at work. The TPG vs Masri case essentially upheld the right to hold religious views or practice one’s religion as long as it does not interfere with one’s or fellow employee work or safety. To deny an employee a right to silent worship as was in the Masri case, was a form of workplace discrimination and a denial of universal a human right.

Fair Work Australia (FWA) the federal successor to AIC is against all forms workplace bullying and religious discrimination. There are now serious sanctions against employers that promote an oppressive or a discriminatory workplace.

See newspaper coverage of the story:-

Muslim IT worker wins right to pray

Australian workplace laws now recognise in principle the existence of multiculturalism in workplace. For that reason there is an establishment of “Multifaith Workplace Guidelines” for Australian managers. This is published here:-

Multifaith Workplace Guidelines for Managers