Friday, 9 April 2004

first tribunal case

We seem to have the first instance of an Employment Tribunal case relating to the new regulations. The Independent and The Tablet both report the case.

Gay man denied job as chaplain to seafarers

A gay man is taking legal action against a Catholic charity which he alleges withdrew a job offer on the grounds that he was in a homosexual relationship.
The man had been verbally offered a post as a lay chaplain with the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) when he disclosed to them that he was living with his partner. His case will test new government legislation which outlaws discrimination against homosexuals in the workplace. It will also challenge the effectiveness of an exemption granted to religious organisations.
The 27-year-old man, who has asked to remain anonymous, says he is determined to fight the AOS decision and has taken his case to an employment tribunal. For its part, the AOS believes it was fully justified in its decision not to employ an active homosexual in a pastoral role. The AOS is an agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and is concerned with the spiritual and social welfare of seafarers.
The charity’s National Director, Commodore Chris York, confirmed that he offered the man a job as a port chaplain before he knew he was homosexual. York told The Tablet that during a discussion about where he would be based, the man disclosed that he could not be completely flexible because he had a lease on a house and was in a relationship with another man.

Gay man sues Catholic church for withdrawing job offer

The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, which came into force in December, make it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation. But the change has been a matter of controversy for religious groups, which maintain that their churches, schools and charities should be free to turn down non-believers and other applicants who do not conform to church teachings.
Pressure from faith groups helped to force a special exemption from the regulations, but this exemption has already been taken to judicial review in the High Court by a group of unions, including Amicus, which has a section for clergy. A decision is pending. It is understood that a second employment challenge to the Catholic church using the same legislation is in the pipeline.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 9 April 2004 at 10:16 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Employment Equality | News