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Expressing personal beliefs in the workplace – dangerous territory?

In yet another case of this ilk to hit the headlines, an Employment Tribunal addresses the difficult conflict between religious belief and sexual orientation. In this case, the Employment Tribunal found that the Claimant had been discriminated against, and unfairly dismissed, on the grounds of her religious belief.

The Claimant, Miss Mbuyi, was employed as a nursery assistant by the Respondent. The Claimant was an evangelical Christian and she worked with an employee who was a lesbian and living in a civil partnership with a woman (referred to as “LP” in the Judgment). It appeared that initially the two employees had a pleasant working relationship.

However, in a casual conversation between the two employees about what they had been doing over the Christmas holidays, the Claimant informed LP that she had been involved with a number of church activities. LP expressed that it must be nice to have this “extended family”, but that she would not be interested in going to church because she could not get married there.

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Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.