Christian nursery worker makes religious belief discrimination Employment Tribunal claim

MoJA Christian nursery worker who was sacked on allegations that she had harased a co-worker and refused to read stories about gay couples to children has made a legal claim to the Employment Tribunal.

Ms Sarah Mbuyi, 30, made her Employment Tribunal claims for religious belief discrimination and unfair dismissal after she was dismissed earlier this year for refusing to read ‘bed-time stories’ about gay couples to children.

Ms Mbuyu, 30, who is of Belgian national origin and Christian faith, visited a lesbian co-worker in hospital last year following an accident at work and gave her a Bible. Ms Mbuyi claims that the Bible was a gift and was a result of ‘interest’ that the co-worker had shown. However, the following month the co-worker was told by Ms Mbuyi after a discussion regarding her sexuality that “I if I tell you that God is okay with that I am lying to you.” Ms Mbuyi was disciplined as a result of this statement and was asked at the disciplinary hearing how she would feel if she was asked to read stories featuring same-sex couples to children. Ms Mbuyi said that she would refuse to do so and was dismissed, although it is unclear as to whether she was dismissed because of the allegations of her co-worker or her refusal to read the stories.

Ms Mbuyi’s claims are being pursued by the Christian Legal Centre, whose Chief Executive Officer last week called on David Cameron to intervene in the dispute.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This is a controversial case and has become even more politicised after David Cameron’s comments last week regarding his Christian faith. The issue here is whether Ms Mbuyi has been subjected to a discriminatory policy or decision by the nursery.”

The Employment Tribunal claim continues and it is expected that it will be listed for a hearing later this year.