Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

No bible here

bible.jpg

The exploration of the religious discrimination regulations is continuing in the courts. The employment appeal tribunal (EAT) appears to be taking a robust view of the test to be applied before discrimination is proved.

In a recent case a worker for social services was dismissed for pressing his beliefs on a client (contrary to explicit council rules) by asking the client whether he went to church and giving him a bible he happened to have with him. A claim for religious discrimination was denied.

The EAT ruled that he had not been dismissed on the grounds of his religious belief but because he was 'improperly foisting it on service users'.

This decision reinforces previous judgements that there is no right to disregard the rules of an employer made for the benefit of service users because of religious belief.

How far this will impact in schools and colleges is difficult to say; but it may be worth exploring exactly what your staff handbook has to say about manifesting religion.

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