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Christian worker wins unfair dismissal case after ‘gay jibe’

A Christian nursery worker who was fired after airing her views on homosexuality and marriage has won a discrimination claim against her former employer.

Sarah Mbuyi (31) was fired by Newpark Childcare in Highbury, north London, for gross misconduct after telling a lesbian colleague her gay lifestyle was a sin. She claimed the sacking breached European law on religious freedom.

She had suggested to the woman that she might like to attend church which could act as an extended family. She had also previously given her a Bible.

Although the colleague made no complaint against Miss Mbuyi, the nursery management began a disciplinary action, which led to her sacking.

The tribunal was heard at Watford before a panel of three, chaired by Employment Judge Broughton.

Miss Mbuyi said she was relieved at the outcome of the tribunal which ruled in her favour.

The tribunal recognised that while the employer was ‘not anti-Christian’ Miss Mbuyi had not been treated fairly.

The judgement says the nursery acted on the basis of ‘stereotyped ideas of evangelical Christianity’.

The panel also said that if the nursery had asked Miss Mbuyi and her colleague not to talk about their religious beliefs or their sexuality in the workplace again and either of them had refused, this would have been grounds for dismissal.

The Christian Legal Centre, who supported Miss Mbuyi, said it was a ‘common sense’ judgement.

Miss Mbuyi, an evangelical Christian from Belgium, said: “I only ever responded to questions that my colleague asked me and wanted the very best for her. I give glory to God for the decision and say ‘well done’ to the Christian Legal Centre”.

Tiffany Clutterbuck, a director of Newpark Childcare, told The Sunday Times that she was disappointed by the ruling.

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