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Security

Should Sikhs be able to wear their Kirpan (a ceremonial weapon, one of the 5 symbols of Sikh faith) in high security buildings? Is it possible to ask Sikh employees to exchange their Kirpan for a symbol of the Kirpan?

What the employer did:
In this case the employer talked to the Sikh community (both within and outside the company) and developed a policy where there are no restrictions for Amritdhari Sikhs wearing the Kirpan. In addition the employer also produced guidance for security teams on how to recognise an Amritdhari Sikh.

EFB Comment:

It is worth noting that unless there are overriding safety issues defensible under primary law, Sikhs have a right to carry the Kirpan; this is protected under UK law and must be allowed.

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We have a 'stop and search' policy, so every day after every shift an employee's bag, person, locker or car is searched. We have a 'no touch' policy, but can we search underneath a Sikh's Turban?

What the employer did:
In this case the employer decided that it was not appropriate to search under a Sikh's turban.

EFB Comment:

The employer could have explored other less intrusive security measures such as passive electronic screening (as used in airports etc.) or the use of RFID tagging on items of value to deter theft. However it is recognised that for some employers these more advanced solutions may not be affordable.