RSS Feed

Legal Updates

More Articles: Latest Popular Archives

Dismissal for manifesting beliefs was not discriminatory

Dismissal for manifesting beliefs was not discriminatory

In Power v Greater Manchester Police Authority, the EAT upheld a tribunal’s decision that an employee dismissed by the Police was not discriminated against on the grounds of his belief in spiritualism and the ability of mediums to contact the dead, but because he had expressed those beliefs at work in an unacceptable manner.


Mr Power, was employed as a trainer. He claimed to be an adherent of the Spiritualist Church and to have a belief in spiritualism, in life after death, that the dead can be contacted through mediums or psychics and could be useful to police work. He was dismissed after three weeks. A tribunal found that Mr Power’s beliefs amounted to religious and/or philosophical beliefs for the purposes of the Religion or Belief Regulations. However, he had not been discriminated against on the grounds of his beliefs. He had been dismissed: (i) because of previous conduct as a volunteer, which came to light after he had been employed and which made him unsuitable to train young police officers; and (ii) because he had distributed spiritualist posters and CD-ROMs at work. The latter was not less favourable treatment because of his beliefs, but because of the unacceptable way in which he had expressed them.

The EAT upheld the tribunal’s decision. There is a distinction between treatment on the grounds of a person’s beliefs and treatment on the grounds of the expression of those beliefs. Mr Power’s dismissal was partly because of his unacceptable expression of his spiritualist beliefs, not because he held those beliefs. Therefore he had not been discriminated against. 

December 2010

Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)