Last Updated on December 19, 2019
Australia’s Diversity Council is urging business to drop the word ‘Christmas’ to describe festive events at the end of the year out of fears non-Christians may get offended.
Employers are being told to use more inclusive language, such as “holiday greetings,” instead of more traditional words in reference to Christmas.
Diversity Council Australia wants businesses to be inclusive of all traditions, celebrating holidays including Jewish Hanukkah, Buddhist Bodhi Day, Islamic Ramadan and the Hindu Diwali, according to The Daily Mail.
Part of the proposal would be to allow non-Christians to work through the Christmas period and take time off during their religious celebrations, instead.
In an interview with The Herald Sun, Lisa Annese from Diversity Council Australia suggested that Christmas should be more inclusive of other faiths and traditions.
“If you’re having a Christmas celebration, try to make sure it’s inclusive of other faiths as well because the office is for everybody,” Ms Annese said.
Ms Annese went on to say, “it’s worth noting that many Australians do not celebrate Christmas religiously, either as followers of non-Christian religions, or as individuals with no religious affiliation.”
She goes onto to recommend celebrating the Christmas and New Year together so that “everyone is on board with the company’s vision for the new year.”
As 52% of Australians are Christians, the Diversity Council felt that some groups were being left out.
In a statement, the Diversity Council said: “Lots of organisations celebrate the end of year holiday break with a Christmas party.
“We are simply saying that it’s worth remembering that many Australians do not celebrate Christmas religiously, either as followers of non-Christian religions, or as individuals with no religious affiliation.
“There is a lot organisations can do to make them feel included at this time of year.”
The proposal to drop Christmas appears to be an unpopular one, according to a News.com.au poll.