Victory for Christian
School receptionist Jennie Cain has won a moral victory after taking her school to an employment tribunal on grounds of religious discrimination.
Last year, Mrs Cain, who worked at Landscore Primary School, Crediton, sent an email from her home computer at her private address. She asked a Christian friend to pray for a situation involving her daughter, Jasmine, who studied at the school.
That day, her five-year-old daughter had been reprimanded for talking about God to another child. However, head teacher Gary Read was sent the email, whereupon he launched an investigation against Mrs Cain for professional misconduct.
Jennie Cain was told to stay away from her job for nearly four months before receiving a written warning over the affair. She launched an employment tribunal claim for religious discrimination, harassment and victimisation, backed by the Christian Institute and advised by Sean Kehoe, senior partner of the law firm Advance Legal.
This April, the local authority, acting on behalf of the school and its governors, negotiated a settlement with Mrs Cain. She will receive an undisclosed payment.
While the parties have agreed to disagree as to whether Mrs Cain has been discriminated against, all parties have jointly acknowledged that all religious faiths, including Christianity, must be treated equally and with sensitivity. All parties also recognise the freedom of individuals to hold, talk and write about their beliefs.
Mrs Cain said, ‘I am pleased that this matter has been resolved. My family and I look forward to getting on with our lives and putting this matter behind us’.