It is common practice for many companies, particularly in the retail sector, to open for business on Sundays. However, a Christian woman is fighting for her right to keep Sunday a day of rest in accordance with her religious beliefs. When applying for her job, the woman made it clear to her future employers that the rules of her religion prevent her from working on a Sunday as it is classed as the Sabbath, a day for rest and prayer.
The woman left her job at a respite centre in London when, after 2 years of working for the business, her employers refused to let her continue to have Sundays off, despite the initial contractual agreement. The woman chose to leave her job as it conflicted with her religious beliefs.
She appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal but they denied her appeal,claiming the Sabbath is not a fundamental part of Christian beliefs and rituals. The woman claims she has no desire to impose her religious beliefs on other people, but rather that she just doesn’t want to be forced into anything by an employer that conflicts with her faith.
Thankfully the woman has now been offered a job with another company that will allow her to have Sundays off. If the woman wins her appeal, it could create new religious rights allowing other christian workers across various sectors to refuse to work Sundays, creating significant issues for employers.