Saturday, 29 May 2004

AoS tribunal case withdrawn

I have reported twice previously on the employment tribunal case that was brought against a Roman Catholic charity for discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.

The complainant has now withdrawn from the case. The AoS issued a press release which appears below in full. They now assert (but why did they wait so long?) that their withdrawal of the employment offer was not because the applicant was homosexual, but because he was “in an open relationship outside of wedlock”. This is curiously described in the press release as “not discriminating… on any…grounds”. What they mean of course is that they DID discriminate, but on grounds which they consider to be lawful.
The High Court decision to which reference is made in the press release did not alter the law. It is the same now as it was when the case was brought.

Apostleship of the Sea - Press Release (only on demand):
Friday, 14 May 2004
Applicant withdraws discrimination case against Apostleship of the Sea
Statement by Alexander King, Director of Fundraising & Media:
“Our legal representatives, were approached by ACAS yesterday, and were told that the applicant was willing to withdraw his accusations if we did not pursue him for legal costs.
We have agreed to this settlement on the basis that the applicant is effectively withdrawing the case accepting that the matter cannot be pursued further.
The settlement by the applicant seems to be in recognition that, in effect, AOS has no case to answer, especially following the High Court’s decision to uphold the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2002 and Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
For the avoidance of doubt we wish to make it clear that the applicant has not received any payment from AOS to resolve this case .
We would like to restate that we did not discriminate against the applicant on grounds of his sexual orientation or on any other grounds. AOS has at all times acted fairly and lawfully with regard to his application for employment. In settling this case, we believe that the applicant now accepts this to be true.
We made this clear to him at the time, stating that, as an agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, we could not employ anyone for a role in ministry as a Port Chaplain who was in an open relationship outside of wedlock as this was contrary to the Catholic values that the post holder was required to uphold. This applies irrespective of the sexual orientation of the candidate.
AOS strives at all times to treat all individuals equally and with respect and actively seeks to encourage fair treatment for all.
We are pleased that the matter is now concluded and that we can continue with our mission alongside international seafarers, under the patronage of Our Lady, Star of the Sea.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 29 May 2004 at 7:05 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Employment Equality