Britain Moves To Protect Unemployed for Shabbat

Benefits Can't Be Yanked for Sabbath Observers

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By JTA

Published February 14, 2014.
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Britain has issued guidelines to ensure that Sabbath-observant Jews are not denied unemployment benefits for refusing to work on Saturdays.

The guidelines set down by the Department for Work and Pensions in an internal memo to Jobcentre employment agencies across the country is called “The Jewish Sabbath,” the London Jewish Chronicle reported.

The memo explains that the Jewish Sabbath requires refraining from work.

According to the guidelines, Jewish job seekers can limit their hours on a certain day as long as they can work 40 hours in a week.

The guidelines were issued several weeks after Britain’s employment minister said she would introduce regulations to make Jews who refuse to work on their Sabbath eligible for welfare benefits.

There have been at least 50 cases of people from different religions being denied unemployment benefits because the claimants’ religious observance interfered with their ability to work, the Jewish Chronicle reported. At least 15 cases involved Jews, five of whom won tribunal cases against the welfare department.


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