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Mba case- EAT

Mba case- EAT

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Published by Howard Friedman

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Published by: Howard Friedman on Jan 11, 2013
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Appeal No. UKEAT/0332/12/SM
EMPLOYMENT APPEAL TRIBUNAL
FLEETBANK HOUSE, 2-6 SALISBURY SQUARE, LONDON EC4Y 8JXAt the TribunalOn 13 December 2012
Before
THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE LANGSTAFF (PRESIDENT)
MR B R GIBBSMRS D M PALMER 
MS C MBAAPPELLANTTHE MAYOR AND BURGESSESOF THE LONDON BOROUGH OF MERTONRESPONDENTTranscript of ProceedingsJUDGMENT
©
Copyright 2013
 
APPEARANCES
For the AppellantMR PAUL DIAMOND(of Counsel)Instructed by:Andrews Law Solicitor Stargate Business CentreFaraday DriveBridgnorthWV15 5BAFor the RespondentMR JAKE DAVIES(of Counsel)Instructed by:London Borough of MertonCorporate Legal ServicesGifford House67c St Helier AvenueMordenSurreySM4 6HYUKEAT/0332/12/SM
 
SUMMARYRELIGION OR BELIEF DISCRIMINATION
A care worker in a Children’s home was employed under a contract under which she could berequired to work on Sundays. After accommodating her wish as a Christian not to do so for some two years, her employer required her to work as contractually obliged. She argued thatthis provision or practice discriminated against Christians, and hence her, on grounds of religion or belief. An Employment Tribunal decided that the employer’s aim in seeking toensure that all full-time staff worked on Sundays in rotation was legitimate, and was objectively justified, so that she could lawfully be required to do so.Three grounds of appeal were raised – that the Tribunal adopted the wrong approach, thoughespousing the correct one; that the employer should have been proactive, not reactive, inconsidering possible alternatives which would have avoided the Claimant having to work onSundays; and that the Tribunal had impermissibly taken into account a view of what was “core”to Christian belief, which was not part of its proper function.
Held
: the decision could not besaid to be perverse; the Tribunal had applied the necessary anxious scrutiny, and judgment of whether the existence of alternatives rendered a policy or practice disproportionatelydiscriminatory in its effect was one for the Tribunal and not the employer; and by using theexpression “core” the Tribunal intended to reflect the evidence put before it from an Anglican bishop that only some Christians felt obliged to abstain from Sunday work it was thus permissibly commenting on the degree to which Christians numerically would be affected, andnot attempting to tell them what was important in their faith. Appeal dismissed.UKEAT/0332/12/SM

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