A man says he was refused a job at a country house hotel near Colchester — simply because he was a Christian.
Graphic designer Jamie Haxby applied for a job at Prested Hall hotel to assist with the hotel’s marketing and promotion.
But, he claims, he was told he couldn’t have the job because some of the hotel staff are atheists who wouldn’t work with a committed Christian.
Mr Haxby has tried to resolve his dispute with the hotel, but they have ignored his approaches and the matter is now heading for an Employment Tribunal.
According to Mr Haxby’s claim form submitted to the Employment Tribunal, he was interviewed for the job on 4 December by Celie Parker.
He says that during the job interview he was asked whether he was a Christian, and he said yes.
As Miss Parker flicked through his portfolio, she noticed that it contained work done for churches and other Christian groups.
She said he was clearly a committed Christian, and remarked that she and other people on her team were atheists.
She said they could never work with a committed Christian, and apologised for wasting Mr Haxby’s time.
Mr Haxby was astonished, and said that his religion should not stop him being considered for the job.
According to Mr Haxby, she then said other candidates had more experience and he was not offered the job.
Religious discrimination is unlawful, and the law covers the way job interviews are conducted, not just the outcome.
Mr Haxby’s claim for religious discrimination is being supported by The Christian Institute, a national charity that defends the civil liberties of Christians.
Spokesman Mike Judge said: “Jamie’s case is shocking, and shows that discrimination against Christians is getting more brazen.
“There’s no place for this anti-Christian intolerance at the hands of aggressive atheists. It’s high time the Government took the issue more seriously.”
Prested Hall country house hotel denies religious discrimination, saying the job was given to a more experienced candidate.