Druids will be able to claim time off for ceremonies at stone circles while vegans can request non-leather chairs under new employment guidelines.

Under the advice issued to bosses by the European Equality and Human Rights Commission, druids, pagans, ecologists, atheists and vegetarians should all be given the same rights in the workplace as Christians.

It means that vegetarians can legitimately refuse to clean out fridges where meat is kept, or ecologists refuse to travel by airplane.

The advice comes after a recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that British Airways employee Nadia Eweida had the right to wear a cross to work after she battled for six years against company policy prohibiting the display of religious symbols by workers.

Under the judgement, extended workplace religious rights are also extended to those professing other religions and belief systems.

"The implications of the judgment apply to employees with any religion or belief, of none," state the guidelines.

Bosses, it says, will have to "consider seriously" requests from employees to take time off for religious pilgrimages or other expressions of worship and conviction, unless it disrupts the company or incurs unnecessary expense.

The advice aims to help bosses to avoid being sued for discrimination if they do not respect employee's beliefs.

Bosses could refuse a request "when they reasonably conclude that the belief is not sincere."

Employees would also be free to discuss their beliefs at work, leaving vegans free to extol the virtues of Tofu to carnivorous colleagues or ecologists to explain the environmental damage caused by driving into work, as long as they are not harassing colleagues.

A nurse would also be free to pray for a patient, as long as the patient does not object.

Keith Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, told The Sunday Times: "It is not [a] nurse's job to pray any more than it is to advance political or environmental opinions."