Employers may have a legitimate aim in wishing to prohibit discussion of religious views on homosexuality in the workplace, but should ensure the prohibition is communicated and applied consistently, and can be justified.

In Mbuyi v Newpark Childcare (Shepherds Bush), a nursery was found to have directly and indirectly discriminated against a Christian employee dismissed for answering a question from a lesbian colleague about her beliefs concerning homosexuality. The tribunal concluded that the employer’s procedural failings were motivated by stereotypical assumptions about evangelical Christians, amounting to direct discrimination. In relation to indirect discrimination, the tribunal ruled that, although there was a legitimate aim for prohibiting employees from expressing negative views about homosexuality, namely to provide the nursery service in a non-discriminatory way, the employer had failed to establish that dismissal was a proportionate means of achieving this. This was because of the lack of prior warning and the inconsistency in failing to address the part the lesbian colleague had played in starting the inappropriate workplace discussion.

Employers may have a legitimate aim in wishing to prohibit discussion of religious views on homosexuality in the workplace, but should ensure the prohibition is communicated and applied consistently, and can be justified.

In Mbuyi v Newpark Childcare (Shepherds Bush), a nursery was found to have directly and indirectly discriminated against a Christian employee dismissed for answering a question from a lesbian colleague about her beliefs concerning homosexuality. The tribunal concluded that the employer’s procedural failings were motivated by stereotypical assumptions about evangelical Christians, amounting to direct discrimination. In relation to indirect discrimination, the tribunal ruled that, although there was a legitimate aim for prohibiting employees from expressing negative views about homosexuality, namely to provide the nursery service in a non-discriminatory way, the employer had failed to establish that dismissal was a proportionate means of achieving this. This was because of the lack of prior warning and the inconsistency in failing to address the part the lesbian colleague had played in starting the inappropriate workplace discussion.