Celestina Mba argues she had to quit her position as a care worker when her request to be allowed not to work on Sundays was refused.
Mba, 38, a children’s worker and practising Christian, has so far instigated a test case for the right not to work on Sundays at the court of appeal.
This follows after Mba left her job at a children’s care home in London, which is overseen by Merton council, due to the fact she was not allowed to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest.
Three of the most senior judges in Britain will decide if employers do have a duty to accommodate the beliefs of Christian workers. This case is believed to have wide implications for the question of faith in the workplace.
Lawyers think that if there is a ruling in Mba’s favour, the case might lead to followers of other religions being allowed to not attend work on their holy day.
Outside of court Mba stated that she hoped to be granted her ‘individual right to worship’ and added that some people seemed to have forgotten ‘common sense’.
Indeed, Mba has become something of a heroine for Christian campaigners who believe that the courts have denied Christians protection in the workplace, by not allowing them to follow core components of their faith.
Barrister Andrea Minichiello Williams, from the Christian Legal Centre, highlighted the fact that whilst Christians have seemingly been denied the right to their holy Sundays or to wear a cross, elsewhere the hijab, a Muslim’s right to fast and Afro ‘cornrow’ hairstyles have all been protected.
Mba hopes the judgement will overturn the outcome of an earlier tribunal where it was ruled that Merton council were justified in their decision.
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