Sikh Council UK Thanked in Lords Debate on Turban Exemption

turbanLONDON, UK—The Sikh Council UK was yesterday thanked in a debate on the floor of the House of Lords for its input into proposals to extend the exemption for turban wearing Sikhs from having to wear safety helmets. 

The debate came at the Committee Stage of the Deregulation Bill in the House of Lords following approval by the House of Commons.  Clauses 6 & 7 of the Bill allow for the current exemption that applies on construction sites to be extended to other workplaces. 

Sikh Council UK Secretary General, Gurmel Singh said, “The proposals debated by Peers came about following lobbying by the Sikh Council UK after Sikhs were subjected to disciplinary action including dismissal in workplaces not covered by the current exemption.  I am pleased the proposals are receiving cross party support and am also pleased that Peers are continuing to work with us to improve the Bill further.” 

The debate followed an amendment by Baroness Thornton on behalf of the Labour opposition during which she asked a series of questions including for the Sikh Council UK to be consulted and engaged in the provision of guidelines or changes in policy or procedures by Government and service providers.  Lord Wallace of Saltaire responding for the Government agreed to provide written responses to the clarifications sought. 

Also speaking in the debate was one of the two turban wearing Sikh Lords, Lord Singh of Wimbledon who sits as a cross bencher.  Lord Singh spoke passionately in support of the legislation explaining the significance of the turban. 


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