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Care worker loses case

01 March 2012

by Shiranikha Herbert, Legal Correspondent

A CHRISTIAN care worker lost her claim for constructive dismissal when she refused to work on Sundays owing to her religious beliefs. Celestina Mba, a Baptist, worked in Morden at Brightwell Respite Care House for disabled children.

Ms Mba said that her beliefs required her to have Sundays off, and that she was forced out of her job when her employer, Merton Council, insisted that she work on Sundays. The London South Employment Tribunal ruled against her, and said that keeping Sundays as a day of rest was not a “core component” of Christianity.

Ms Mba said that she had been promised by her manager when she started her job that it would be possible to “work around” her requirements so that she had Sun­days off. The employment tribunal ruled, however, that there was no “express agreement” that she would not work on Sundays, that she was “contractually obliged” to work on Sundays, and that her employers had no “viable alternatives” to requiring her to work on Sundays.

The text of the judgment is yet to be pub­lished.

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