Last year the EAT rejected a claim by Gary McFarlane that his dismissal from Relate Avon was unfair on grounds of his religion. Mr McFarlane was a Christian counsellor who was dismissed for refusing to work with gay couples.
The case is today before the Court of Appeal who will decide whether to grant Mr McFarlane a right to appeal the EAT’s decision. The interpretation of legislation in this area is based on the recent case of Ms Ladele where it was held that a dismissal of a Christian registrar for refusing to conduct civil ceremonies was fair.
Therefore if the Court of Appeal agree to allow Mr McFarlane a right to appeal then this will create great confusion for employers in deciding whether an individuals religious beliefs are more important than an individuals sexual orientation.