Vice-principal of Muslim school loses Employment Tribunal religious discrimination claim

MoJThe former vice-principal of a Muslim school has lost her employment tribunal claim for discrimination after she was dismissed from her job in 2012.

Ghazala Khan, 37, made her claims for religious discrimination and unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal after she claimed that she was told by the principal of the Mohiuddin International Girls College that she was a “stupid outsider” and that she would “go to Hell” because she disagreed on some Islamic teachers with management staff.

Ms Khan’s claim came to the employment tribunal earlier this month, with Ms Khan making allegations that the following conduct had occurred:

  • That she had been told that the school was being “polluted” because she “let a Christian in”
  • That she had disagreed with teachers about the wearing of veils in schools by children
  • That she had, on occasions, not been allowed into assembly because she was told she was “an outsider” and that she had to “wait outside”
  • That she had been dismissed from her position after she had been suffering from stress and depression

The school denied the allegations and claimed that Ms Khan had been dismissed for misconduct, after she was criticised by a report after an inspection of the school had been undertaken. Mr Bashir, the former principal of the school, told the Employment Tribunal that he had never told Ms Khan that she was a “stupid outsider” and that he had also never told Ms Khan that she was “going to hell” and that he would have only employed her as a cleaner or tea lady. The school’s lawyer also claimed that the Mohiuddin International Girls College employed Christian teachers as well as Muslim teachers and could not therefore be accused of religious discrimination.

The Manchester Employment Tribunal, having heard evidence and arguments from both sides, found against Mrs Khan in her claim for religious belief discrimination.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must ensure that they do not discriminate against employees because an employee’s ‘protected characteristics’, such as, for example, their race, religion, age, sex, and disability, among others. Accusations of discrimination can result in lengthy and costly employment tribunal proceedings, and can potentially lead to large awards of damages being made if an Employment Tribunal finds that discrimination had occurred.

It is not currently known whether Ms Khan intends to appeal the ruling of the employment tribunal and neither party has commented on the outcome of the case.