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Christian sacked in UK to use EU law for discrimination claim

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Issued by the Christian Legal Centre

 

News Release
For immediate release
1 March 2015
 

Christian sacked in UK to use EU law for discrimination claim

A CHRISTIAN children’s worker is using EU Law to claim unfair dismissal against her former employer for sacking her after she expressed her biblical views on marriage.

The case is listed at the Watford Employment Tribunal on 2-5 March 2015.
 

Breach of EU Law

Miss Mbuyi is an EU national (Belgium) exercising freedom of movement rights under Article 45 of the Treaty on the Function of the European Union. She also has the protection of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

These EU Rights are “directly effective” and must be respected by the UK, meaning any conflicting rule of national law must be set aside. The UK is bound to respect the social norms of other EU States and the religious views of workers who come to the UK.

There is now a concern that the current levels of discrimination against Christians in the UK mean that Christians from the EU will not seek work in the UK because of a lack of protection for their human rights.

Dr Sean O’Domhnaill, a leading Irish Consultant Psychiatrist, has signed a Witness Statement saying that he refuses to seek employment in the UK because of recent cases on the Cross (Eweida & Chaplin v United Kingdom) and on requirements of Christians to endorse same sex unions (McFarlane v United Kingdom).

He does not believe that his rights as a Christian will be respected in the UK (as in Ireland) and that is why he is supporting Miss Mbuyi. His evidence now reflects widespread concern across Europe at the plight of Christians in the UK.

On 29th January, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed Resolution 2036 (2015) on “Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians” in response to examples of disrespect for the rights of Christians.

The Resolution was based on the Report of Mr Valeriu Ghiletchi (Moldova) who is a member of the Committee on Equality and Non- Discrimination and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. His Report expresses dismay at the cases from the UK.

The Resolution recognises the fact that the UK is now becoming internationally renowned for its discrimination against Christians and Miss Mbuyi’s case will be the first challenge under EU Law.
 

Claim

Miss Mbuyi will claim that Newpark Childcare in Shepherds Bush applied policies arbitrarily and in an illegal manner. She will tell the panel that employees have the right to enter into conversations with adult co-employees subject to the normal principles of engagement in speech.

In January 2014, Miss Mbuyi’s colleague raised the issue of what the Bible teaches on homosexuality. The colleague felt unhappy that she could not marry her female partner because of the Church, and said that she thought God condoned homosexuality.

Miss Mbuyi explained: “When I said ‘No, God does not condone the practice of homosexuality, but does love you and says you should come to Him as you are’, she became emotional and went off to report me to my manager.”

At an internal disciplinary hearing on 8th January, Miss Mbuyi was confronted with her colleague’s allegations including that her colleague had taken offence at being give a bible as a gift by Miss Mbuyi.

On 9 January 2014 the nursery directors dismissed Miss Mbuyi for gross misconduct for having breached the equality policy of the nursery.

Miss Mbuyi had previously discussed matters of faith and religion without any offence being taken.
 

Comments

“My disciplinary hearing was hopelessly one-sided. It seemed to me they had already made up their minds to justify sacking me, before hearing my side of the story,” said Miss Mbuyi.

“It is obvious that we live in a climate where being Christ-like—following the Bible as much as we can—and being open and honest about that, is a problem now.”


Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, commented:

“Sharing Biblical truths out of genuine love for colleagues is being outlawed in the workplace by an oppressive ‘cultural correctness’. There is a culture of fear which shuts down freedom of speech and the expression of faith.

“It’s indicative of the sad state we’re in that we’re using EU Law in Sarah’s case because she was prevented from living out her faith in a country which once led the world in freedom and justice.

“This culture tries to portray the liberating good news of the Gospel as oppressive and regressive. Sarah’s case demonstrates the confusion we’re experiencing in current times.” 

 

Ends.

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