A Genuine Occupational requirement(GOR)
The regulation provide for very limited circumstances where it will be lawful for someone to be treated differently on the grounds of their religion or belief.
This is where there is a ‘genuine occupational requirement’, that the job holder must be of a particular religion or belief. An example might be a hospital or school chaplain, or in the Islamic faith, a halal butcher must be Muslim.x
When deciding if this applies, it is necessary to consider the nature of the work and the context in which it is carried out. This may for example, mean that a catholic school could reasonably argue that it requires a catholic head teacher but could probably not insist on a caretaker being catholic.
A GOR should be identified at the beginning of the recruitment, training or promotion process and should be reassessed every time a post becomes vacant.
GOR’s are always open to challenge. The burden of proof lies with the employer who must produce evidence to justify the GOR.