Can Employers Censor what Staff say outside of the Workplace?

The tribunal has dismissed religious discrimination claims brought by a Christian non-executive director of an NHS Trust, who had been removed from office after giving a series of media interviews expressing his opposition to adoption by same-sex couples.

The tribunal found that the director had not been removed because of his belief or his expression of it. He was removed because he had spoken repeatedly to the media without first informing the Trust, despite specific requests to do so. He had also demonstrated an inability to distinguish between his personal views and when it was appropriate for someone in a high-profile position to say to the media.

The tribunal also held that Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (protecting the right to freedom of religion), was not engaged, because the claimant’s actions in giving media interviews were not “intimately linked to his religion”.

Niki Avraam, Employment Partner comments: This case raises issues as to the extent an employer can censor the expression of religious or philosophical beliefs outside the workplace. The case is likely to be appealed.


Howat Avraam Solicitors provide Commercial, Employment and Contract Dispute advice to companies and business owners. As business owners ourselves, we have a pragmatic in-house approach to resolving issues before they arise by working alongside our clients. We are commercial, practical and entrepreneurial in our approach to legal services.

To discuss any employment matter on a no obligation basis, please contact Niki Avraam, Employment Partner, on 020 3735 6708 or email Niki at Alternatively, visit our website at

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