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CLC to fight Sunday working defeat

24 February 2012

The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) has said it will consider appealing against a tribunal decision that a worker at a children’s home in south London could be forced to work on Sundays.

Andrea Williams, director of the CLC, said she was “extremely disappointed” that Celestina Mba lost her claim of constructive dismissal after she left her job in 2010 and an appeal would be considered.

“Celestina was let down by her employers, who failed to continue to accommodate her beliefs,” Williams said.

“She was an employee who wished to observe Sunday. Her employers forced her to choose between her job and her faith. This was unacceptable, and we are disappointed that the judge did not agree with her.

“There needs to be a reasonable accommodation of the Christian faith across the public sphere, for the good of all. Pressure from employers against Christians expressing their faith is an increasingly regular hallmark of what Baroness Warsi has described as our ‘deeply intolerant culture’.”

In a statement, Mba said she was prepared to work night shifts at the home in Morden and on Saturdays to avoid working on the Sabbath.

She said that, despite her offers, no compromises were accepted and the judge found there was no viable alternative to her working on Sundays.

However, Yvette Stanley, director of children, schools and families at Merton Council, said she was pleased with the outcome of the tribunal.

“As a local authority, we have a duty to ensure our children with disabilities who need weekend care are supported by carers who are familiar with their specific needs,” she said.

Categorised in:

Discrimination