A Christian disciplined by an NHS trust for praying with a colleague has won permission to appeal an employment tribunal’s decision against her.
Judge Eady QC recognised the importance of Victoria Wasteney’s case, and said the Employment Appeal Tribunal should consider whether human rights laws on freedom of religion and expression had been properly applied.
Miss Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist, had discussions about Christianity and Islam with a junior colleague, Enya Nawaz, and offered to pray with her when she became upset about health problems.
She also invited her to church and gave her a book called ‘I Dared to Call Him Father’, about a Muslim woman who converted to Christianity.
In April this year, the employment tribunal ruled that the NHS trust she worked for acted reasonably in disciplining Miss Wasteney for harassment, after Miss Nawaz made a formal complaint.
Miss Wasteney is being represented by the Christian Legal Centre, which is “delighted” that permission to appeal has been granted.
Chief Executive Andrea Williams said: “Victoria has been punished and left out in the cold for being honest and open about her faith and highlights an unhealthy trend.”
“Victoria’s case underlines that the current ‘equality and diversity’ framework is having the opposite effect to what was intended. It is driving different people apart, not bringing them together, by breeding an atmosphere of mistrust in which people constantly feel as if they are walking on eggshells.”
An appeal hearing is expected to take place next year.