Does an unlawful manifestation of belief merit protection? Higgs

Guest post by Russell Sandberg on an interesting employment case. 

The decision in Mrs K Higgs v Farmor’s School [2020] ET 1401264/219 has attracted significant attention in the media. However, its importance in terms of the developing case law on religion or belief discrimination is not about its finding that there was no direct discrimination; it is rather about what it says about the fifth test for the definition of belief.

The claimant had made a number of reposts on Facebook concerning the teaching in schools on same-sex marriage and about gender fluidity with her commenting on the post that ‘they are brainwashing our children’. In response to an e-mail complaint to the school from an outsider, the claimant was suspended from her role as pastoral administrator and work experience manager at the school. Following a disciplinary hearing, she was dismissed on grounds of gross misconduct. The claimant subsequently presented her claim to the Employment Tribunal alleging that she had been discriminated against on grounds of religion and had not been harassed. The Employment Tribunal dismissed the claim. Continue reading