Employment and “protected beliefs”: Higgs v Farmor’s School


In Higgs v Farmor’s School [2023] EAT 89, Mrs Higgs worked as a pastoral administrator and work experience manager at Farmor’s School. Complaints were received about Facebook posts that she had made about relationship education in primary schools: in particular, she re-posted someone else’s post, heading it, “PLEASE READ THIS! THEY ARE BRAINWASHING OUR CHILDREN!” [5]. She also re-posted similar material. She accepted that her posts might have been seen by parents of pupils at Farmor’s School, though she pointed out that she had not mentioned the school itself [9].

She was suspended and, after a disciplinary investigation and an appeal, dismissed [16 & 17]. She took the school to an Employment Tribunal, arguing that her dismissal amounted either to direct discrimination because of her protected beliefs or to harassment relating to them. Continue reading