Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Discrimination over religious beliefs

In a further clarification of the law on religious discrimination, an employment appeal tribunal (EAT) has decided that an employee had not been discriminated against by her employer Islington Council, when it dismissed her for refusing to act as a registrar for civil partnerships.

The EAT refused to accept that religious belief could be an excuse for "dissolving all inconsistent legal obligations to the employer". There had to be a distinction between belief and conduct.

An employer who took action against an employee's conduct was not acting against the religious belief that might have motivated it. The employer had not singled out the employee for particular treatment.

The European Court of Human Rights, in its recent judgements, has imposed more narrow limits to action inspired by religion than the discrimination regulations seem to allow.

© 2017 Association of School and College Leaders