Christian doctor’s ‘victimisation’ claims rejected by Employment Tribunal

Posted: Mon, 23rd Sep 2013

A former paediatric consultant who claimed he was unfairly dismissed on the grounds of his Christian beliefs has had his case rejected by an Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Dr David Drew was dismissed in December 2010 for "gross misconduct and insubordination" after refusing to accept the conclusions of an independent review into his "toxic" relationship with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

Problems within the department arose because of Dr Drew's vexatious communication style, which included frequent use of Christian references in his professional correspondence.

The doctor was first suspended in 2009 following a complaint by a senior nurse that he was undermining her, but which was subsequently dismissed. The internal investigation recommended, amongst other things, that he should keep his personal views and religious beliefs to himself and should not impose them on others.

Dr Drew did not accept the recommendation and took out a grievance. The Royal College of Paediatrics carried out an independent review and appointed a panel of 2 consultants and an HR practitioner to investigate the claims. The panel's report made a number of recommendations; one of them was that Dr Drew should refrain from any religious references in his professional communications.

All relevant staff accepted the panel's recommendations, except Dr Drew, who was subsequently dismissed following a further disciplinary proceedings carried out by an independent HR consultant.

In 2012 an Employment Tribunal rejected Dr Drew's claims that he had been victimised and discriminated against on religious grounds and unfairly dismissed. Dr Drew's latest appeal was argued on multiple grounds but all failed.

The full Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling can be read here

More background information available here

Tags: Free speech