We scored another significant victory this month, which chimes with the recent landmark legal victory of FSU member and social worker Rachel Meade – Rachel won her employment tribunal claim against her ex-employer earlier this month on the basis that her gender critical views were protected beliefs under the Equality Act 2010.
Our member – let’s call her ‘AJ’ – had only just started a new job at a local Council when her ordeal began. Like Rachel, AJ is a woman who holds gender critical beliefs. Prior to taking up her new position she expressly confirmed with her employer that those beliefs would not influence her work when interacting with clients who are gender questioning. She would, she said, focus on her training and skills, avoid imposing any belief systems on others, and would not discuss her political or ideological views with her clients.
Her employer-to-be agreed that was fine. However, as soon as she shared some information on this controversial subject with her colleagues she was accused of – you guessed it – transphobia. Having been suspended and put through a lengthy disciplinary process, AJ was then sacked. Her views were described as a safeguarding concern.
Our member was understandably distressed throughout this process. Internal, bureaucratic procedures of this kind all too often become the punishment, leaving an employee feeling bullied. Indeed, as Rachel Meade’s legal representatives put it during her tribunal, the disciplinary investigation and subsequent year-long suspension she herself experienced left her feeling “bullied into silence”.
We stood by AJ from the beginning to support her, and I’m delighted we’ve helped her secure a favourable outcome without having to go to court.
AJ is just one of the 2,250+ cases the FSU has been involved in, helping people who’ve been punished for something they’ve said, in just 3 years — and when we’re involved with a case all the way, as we were with AJ, we achieve a favourable result 73% of the time.