Inclusion policy

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Ministry of Defence should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Ministry of Defence,

Please can you demonstrate how Army facial hair policy;

"Beards and whiskers are only to be worn with authority, which will usually be granted only on medical or religious grounds, or where tradition permits."

conforms to the 2010 equality act in that discrimination is made between rights of individuals to grow facial hair for religious reasons / medical reasons however this privilege is not protected for non-religious beliefs?

Yours faithfully

S Wulesleag

Army Sec-Group (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

1 Attachment

Dear S Wulesleag,


Please find attached an official response to your FOI request.


Kind regards,


Manning Team 2 | Army Secretariat


Dear Army Sec-Group (MULTIUSER),

Thank you for your reply however, in order to clarify the request I am looking for a copy of the Army's dispensation for breaching the equality act on the grounds of religion.

Whilst facial hair is not a protected characteristic, religion is. Under the act, direct discrimination is defined as "when a person (A) discriminates against another (B) if, because of a protected characteristic, A treats B less favourably than A treats or would treat others". By differentiating the grooming standards of those with religious belief from those without, in this case through the ability to grow facial hair, the Army is directly discriminating against its some of its employees.

can I therefore confirm that the Army does not have dispensation to discriminate between those with / without religious beliefs and is therefore in breach of the equality act by enforcing differing standards based on the protected characteristic 'religion'

Yours sincerely,

S Wulesleag

Dear Ministry of Defence,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Ministry of Defence's handling of my FOI request 'Inclusion policy'.

I am yet to receive an adequate response to my FOI and having clarified my request have not received any response from your department since 11 Dec 19

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

S Wulesleag

CIO-FOI (MULTIUSER), Ministry of Defence

Dear S Wulesleag,


Thank you for your email.


We have checked our records and can find no record of having received your
original request of 11^th December 2019.


Therefore, I have logged your request as being received on the 7^th
January 2020 (the date of email below).


I have logged your request under reference FOI2020/00181 with a statutory
20 working day target date of 4th February 2020.


Kind Regards


Information Rights Team

Ministry of Defence




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