Christoffersen, Lisbet, and Niels Valdemar Vinding. ‘Challenged Pragmatism: Conflicts of Religion and Law in the Danish Labour Market’. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law, vol. 13, no. 2–3, SAGE Publications Ltd, June 2013, pp. 140–168.
Against the backdrop of a well-regulated and pragmatic Danish labour market, the question of reasonable accommodation is discussed on the basis of current legislation, recent legal cases and substantial interview material drawn from the RELIGARE sociolegal research done in Denmark. Employees of religious faith have made religious claims and thereby challenged a secular understanding of the Danish labour market. This raises the question of the extent to which the religion of the individual can be accepted in the general public sphere. At the same time, religious ethos organisations have argued for the protection of their organisational identity and sought to employ and dismiss personnel according to the norms of the religious ethos, raising the question of how far ‘reasonable accommodation’ extends. Both the individual and the collective cluster cases ultimately raise questions concerning where to draw the line between accommodating religion and restricting freedom on the basis of professionalism, job functions or other reasons. On the basis of empirical findings, this article concludes that the pragmatic approach is supporting a renewed religious identity of faith-based organisations, but also warns against hijacking rights of individual employees.