Social worker harassed for believing ‘people cannot change sex’ wins case

A woman discriminated against by her employer and professional body for defending the reality of biological sex has won her legal case.

London Central Employment Tribunal upheld social worker Rachel Meade’s claim that Westminster City Council (WCC) and Social Work England (SWE) had subjected her to “harassment” because of her gender-critical beliefs.

The Tribunal said Meade’s views on gender self-identification were protected under the Equality Act 2010 and that it was “wholly inappropriate” for them to be labelled as “discriminatory” or “transphobic”.

Trans ideology

Meade, an experienced social worker, was disciplined by WCC and sanctioned by SWE for posting comments and links on social media promoting the belief that people cannot change sex.

However, prior to the Tribunal hearing of her claim, Westminster City Council dropped its final warning and Social Work England withdrew its formal sanction.

an opinion contrary to the amendment to existing legislation, advocated for by trans lobbying groups to include, but not limited to, Stonewall

In its judgment, the Tribunal panel declared: “All of the Claimant’s Facebook posts and other communications fell within her protected rights for freedom of thought and freedom to manifest her beliefs”.

It also said that Meade’s opinion “could not sensibly be viewed as being transphobic”, but rather her “expressing an opinion contrary to the amendment to existing legislation, advocated for by trans lobbying groups to include, but not limited to, Stonewall”.

Legitimate debate

Responding to the Tribunal findings, Meade said it was a “huge relief to be so completely vindicated after all this time.”

She added: “This ruling makes it clear that I was entitled to contribute to the important public debate on sex and gender.

“I hope it will make it easier for other regulated professionals to speak up without threats to their career and reputation.”

Reflecting on her treatment, she said: “Suddenly my reputation was in tatters. I was suspended. I felt so isolated and alone. Then I felt ashamed. I felt like I had done something awful. It was just dreadful.”


Meade’s solicitor, Shazia Khan hailed the outcome as a “victory for common sense and free speech in the culture wars on gender issues”.

She also said: “This judgment sounds an alarm for all regulators — and all employers of regulated professionals — that they must not let their processes be weaponised by activists bent on silencing the debate on freedom of speech on gender.”

Accepting the findings of the Tribunal, WCC apologised to Rachel Meade “for the way she has been treated and the upset that has been caused”. SWE acknowledged the judgment.

In 2023, Maya Forstater, who lost her job for defending the reality of biological sex, was awarded more than £100,000 in compensation.

Also see:

Tribunal vindicates woman vilified for belief ‘people cannot change sex’

‘Transphobic’ barrister who stood up for biological sex wins discrimination case

EHRC Chairwoman welcomes end to trans row investigation

MPs contend for reality of biological sex

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