Amritsar (Punjab) [India], July 6: Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President, Harjinder Singh Dhami on Wednesday appreciated the Canadian Government's move to rescind the "no beard" mandate, applied to Sikh security guard whose services were terminated over the policy.
"I appreciate the fact that the Canadian govt was quick to rescind the order. The Canadian Government has been playing an important role in the overall growth of the Sikh community and Canada as a whole," said Dhami.
Notably, the World Sikh Organization of Canada had demanded the City of Toronto change the rule requiring all security guards to be clean-shaven.
Toronto Sun had in its report cited WSO as saying that over 100 Sikh security guards had lost their positions at City of Toronto sites over the rule that requires them to be clean-shaven, so they can wear N95 masks.
Contracted employees who maintain facial hair were not fitted for protective N95 respirators required by public health directives in shelter settings where a Covid-19 outbreak is suspected or present.
The Toronto Sun cited WSO Legal Counsel Balpreet Singh as saying that private contractors that employed the guards told them that they were following city orders and when the guards were told they could ask for an exemption based on religious requirements, companies either moved them to lesser-paying positions or laid them off rather than giving them another option.
Effective from Tuesday (local time) the city will immediately permit "under-mask beard covers" as a reasonable accommodation option for individuals who maintain facial hair as a tenet of their faith, according to an official statement.
It has also asked contracted security service providers to accommodate any Sikh security guard employees who have requested religious exemptions and reinstate any employee whose employment was terminated.