Sunday work refusal 'led to sacking'

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The Independent Online
A CHURCH-GOING shop worker told an industrial tribunal yesterday she was dismissed because she refused to work on Sunday. Ruth Taylor said Sunday was a day for worship and for spending time with the rest of her family.

She told the hearing in Hull she had made it plain to the manageress at the Franlow clothing shop in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, that she was a Christian and did not believe in Sunday working. She said that principle had been accepted at first by Marie Hall, the manageress. But when she refused a second time to comply, Mrs Hall had told her off in front of a customer and made her feel like a 'naughty child'.

Mrs Taylor, a 50-year-old Baptist, is being supported in her case for compensation for unfair dismissal by the Keep Sunday Special Campaign.

The tribunal has been told by Mrs Hall that Mrs Taylor was dismissed for creating problems at work by making frequent complaints and for leaving her post without authority.

Mrs Taylor was asked to work on only one Sunday as a favour to another colleague but had refused, Mrs Hall said.

Paul Diamond, for the Keep Sunday Special Campaign, said Mrs Hall and the company were involved in a 'conspiracy' to get rid of Mrs Taylor if she did not work on Sundays. He said the case was the first one of its kind and that the shop had broken the Shops Act by opening and could not expose an employee to a criminal penalty.

The tribunal deferred a decision until 12 February.