Tel: 01225 740097

Christian worker wins right to challenge bullying ruling

Posted by TonyBrownEmploymentSolicitor on December 1, 2015

A Christian NHS worker who was disciplined for bullying and harassing a Muslim colleague has been granted permission to appeal against rejection of her claim for discrimination on the grounds of her faith.

In that case, a hospital disciplinary panel found the Claimant guilty of bullying and harassing a junior Muslim colleague by praying with her, giving her a book about a Muslim woman's encounter with Christianity and inviting her to church events.

The Claimant had argued before the employment tribunal that she had been discriminated against because of her faith but her claim was dismissed.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has granted her permission to appeal that ruling on grounds that her right to protection of freedom of religion and expression in the European Convention on Human Rights was infringed. Her appeal will be heard next year.

Comment


Penalising someone because of their religion or belief is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. However, it can be difficult to strike a balance in the workplace between the right of employees to express their religious views and the rights of others to be free from harassment.
Religious freedom under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights encompasses the freedom to manifest one’s belief. However, as the manifestation of religious belief will often impact on others, Article 9(2) allows this to be limited for the protection of others.


Religious freedom under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights encompasses the freedom to manifest one’s belief. However, as the manifestation of religious belief will often impact on others, Article 9(2) allows this to be limited for the protection of others.


Case law suggests that, while employers should not discriminate against employees because of their religious views or beliefs, this does not give employees free rein to manifest or express those beliefs at work regardless of the impact on others.


Warning - this bulletin is provided for information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. You should obtain specific, personal advice about your circumstances and not rely on the information or comments in this bulletin.

For more news items like this one, please visit www.bathemploymentlaw.co.uk