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Departmental Dress Code

Volume 451: debated on Monday 30 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department’s policy is on the display of religious (i) artefacts, (ii) symbols and (iii) dress by its staff; how many staff have been subject to disciplinary proceedings regarding this policy in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (95638)

DFID’s policy on religion or belief outlines that staff are welcome to display religious artefacts or symbols, or wear cultural or religious dress. This is part of our wider efforts to encourage the celebration of religious diversity.

However, it does make clear that religious materials should only be sent to other staff if there is a clear DFID business need, or if it improves the understanding of culture or diversity within the organisation or countries with which DFID work. It should not be circulated for missionary purposes or to achieve converts to any religion or belief.

DFID did not hold a central disciplinary record until October 2004. Data show there have been no cases of disciplinary action taken against staff in respect of our religion or belief policy.