Integration or Separation of Church and State?

Last year the House of Lords ruled that ministers of religion could bring claims for discrimination in the employment tribunal in the case of Percy v Church of Scotland. The case was referred back to an Employment Tribunal to decide if Mrs Percy had a case (she had been disrobed after allegedly disrobing with a married man who was not her husband). The Church of Scotland has reportedly settled the claim for £10,000.

The House of Lords left open the issue of whether a minister of religion could sue for unfair dismissal. The definition of employee in discrimination law is wider than in unfair dismissal law. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has today ruled in Sylvester Stewart v the New Testament Church of God that the earlier decision of the Watford Tribunal that ministers of religion can have unfair dismissal rights was correct. The full judgement is here.

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