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Proposal to amend the provisions of section 11 of the Employment Act 1989 to extend the exemption afforded to turban-wearing Sikhs

Following representations which highlighted a legislative anomaly HSE is, on behalf of the Minister for Disabled People and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, proposing to make an amendment to extend the exemption in the Employment Act 1989, S11 so that turban wearing in any industry will be exempt from the need to wear head-protection, and to extend the limited liability provisions of that exemption to their employers.

The current exemption is limited to construction sites and this has led to problems for turban-wearing Sikhs in other areas, where the risk from falling objects is likely to be lower. HSE is also assessing the need to include details of sectors, tasks or roles that should not be included in exemption because the risk to employees is too great to be tolerated. The exemption relates only to head protection and only to turban wearing Sikhs. It does not extend to those Sikhs who do not wear turbans or to other personal protective equipment.

In line with the Government's consultation principles, because this consultation targets the issue of an exemption which only relates to turban wearing Sikhs, it will run for a period of two weeks.

View the consultative letter.

Consultation began on 27 January 2014 and ended on 7 February 2014.

Responses should be sent by 7 February 2014 to:

Employment Act Amendment Team
Health and Safety Executive
5S1 Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS


Updated 2015-07-20