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Tribunal Rules Nursing worker wrongly dismissed for expressing Christian Belief on Homosexuality

An employment tribunal in Watford ruled in favour of a Christian nursery worker who was fired after telling a co-worker her views against homosexuality.

The employment tribunal ruled that Sarah Mbuyi, a Belgian national and nursery worker from Tottenham, north London, should not have been dismissed by her employer as her actions were “worthy of respect in a democratic society.”

The 31-year-old Mbuyi filed a discrimination case against her ex-employer, west London-based Newpark Childcare, last April 2014 after she was dismissed in 2013.  The nursery school has a policy prohibiting employees from expressing adverse views on homosexuality and bars describing lesbians or gays as sinners.

Mbuyi came from Belgium 7 years ago and landed work with Newpark Childcare where she cared for children below one year of age. She was dismissed for gross misconduct when a colleague complained Mbuyi handed a Bible to her and told her, “God is not OK with what you do [but] everyone is a sinner and God offers forgiveness,” after she asked Mbuyi if God will approve her same-sex partnership.

Believing that her employer violated her right to freedom of religion protected under European law, Mbuyi decided to file a complaint for discrimination with the support of the Christian Legal Centre.

Newpark Childcare director Tiffany Clutterbuck said in a June 7 interview with The Sunday Times that the ruling was a disappointment, adding that they decided to dismiss Mbuyi in order to enforce their policies and protect a culture that promotes inclusiveness and support of all employees.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, the head of the Christian Legal Centre, told The Guardian last June 7 that the decision was a “brave judgment.”

Williams went on to say that the judgment showed “understanding of the Christian faith” and an employee’s right to “live and speak it out in the work place.”


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