Employment Tribunal dismiss Doctors Religious Belief discrimination claim
A Christian Doctor, Dr Mackereth claimed that he has been discriminated against and denied his freedom of thought conscience and religion after he insisted on using the pronouns and titles appropriate to the personas biological sex. The DWP policy is that transgender people should be addressed and referred to by their preferred pronoun and specified name. The Claimant Dr Markereth disclosed that when consultation with patients which were contemplating and undergoing or had undergone gender reassignment, he would not use the pronoun of that person’s choice.
The Management approached the matter with the claimant and asked if he would address the individuals by their chosen pronoun, to which he confirmed that due to religious belief he was unable to address transgender people by their chosen pronoun. He was then informed that if he refused to follow the policy, he would be unable to work with clients on a face to face basis, which was a required element of his role. Furthermore, the management wrote to the claimant for clarification on whether or not he would be willing to follow the DWP’s policy and the training that he was provided, also the offer of support and help if needed. This also confirmed the to the claimant that if he chose to refuse to follow the policy that his employment would be terminated.
As a result of the refusal to follow the policy the claimant’s contract was terminated and as a result, he brought claims of discrimination and religious belief.
At employment tribunal it was accepted that the claimant did genuinely hold religious beliefs that Christianity was a protected characteristic but did not accept that the claimants assertions constituted a protected characteristic. They held that the doctor’s lack of belief in transgender and conscientious objection to transgenderism, were views incompatible with human dignity which conflicted with the fundamental rights of others and so were not protected religious or philosophical beliefs under the Equality Act 2010.
The claimant states he intends to appeal the decision.
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