Christian Worker Loses Unfair Dismissal Claim

The London South Employment Tribunal (ET) has ruled that a housing officer working for Wandsworth Council, who was dismissed for gross misconduct after suggesting that a woman with an incurable illness should ‘put her faith in God’, was not a victim of religious discrimination and rejected his claims of unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal (Amachree v Wandsworth Borough Council).

Duke Amachree, a committed Christian, was dismissed after Wandsworth Council received a written complaint from a housing client stating that he had subjected her to a ‘half-hour lecture on the fact there was no such thing as an incurable illness, doctors should never be trusted, that my problem was that I did not have God or faith in my life so therefore was ill as a result’. The Council also judged it ‘inappropriate and unacceptable’ that when discussing his case with the media, Mr Amachree had revealed details about the client that could have led to her being identified.

Mr Amachree, backed by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), argued that the Council’s decision to dismiss him was grossly disproportionate and unfair and that it had discriminated against him on the basis of his religion.

The ET found that the Council had not treated Mr Amachree, as a Christian, more severely than it would have treated a non-Christian for engaging in a similar conversation about non-religious healing and the decision to sack him for gross misconduct was not unreasonable.

The CLC has intimated that Mr Amachree is likely to appeal against this decision.

© , October 2010

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