Christian council worker loses case over ‘God’ comment

A committed Christian who was sacked from his council job after suggesting to a terminally-ill woman she “put her faith in God” has lost his case.

An employment tribunal ruled that it was reasonable for Wandsworth Council to dismiss Duke Amachree, after he was sacked for gross misconduct for suggesting to a client with an incurable illness not to give up hope and to try putting her faith in God.

The tribunal also found the council had not discriminated against Amachree on the basis of his religion. In addition, the tribunal took the view that he had breached confidentiality by publicising his case.

Amachree was suspended from his role as a homelessness prevention officer in January 2009 after council bosses received a complaint from a “shocked and upset” service user. The woman had sought advice about her housing situation during an interview with Amachree two days previously.

The Christian Legal Centre, which backed the case, argued that the council’s decision to dismiss him was grossly disproportionate and unfair, and that they had discriminated against him on the basis of his religion.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, founder and director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “This decision will send yet more shock waves through the Christian community when they realise that a court has sided with the Council in finding that a couple of comments encouraging faith in God is an act of gross misconduct.”

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