Homeopathic Lifestyle Ruled a ‘Protected Characteristic’ in Tribunal Ruling for Fired NHS Worker

Article by Rachel Roberts of Epoch Times

Homeopathic Lifestyle Ruled a ‘Protected Characteristic’ in Tribunal Ruling for Fired NHS Worker | The Epoch Times

Paul Bailey was sacked after declining COVID-19 jabs but ongoing tribunal case finds it is discrimination under the Equalities Act not to allow for his beliefs.

A tribunal judge has ruled that belief in a homeopathic lifestyle and bodily autonomy is a “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act in an unfair dismissal case for a former ambulance operations manager who lost his job for declining the COVID-19 vaccines.

Paul Bailey worked for the NHS for five years before his dismissal in December 2021 after he chose not to have the jabs. He is represented in his tribunal hearing by the Workers of England Union (WEU) and solicitor Robin Tilbrook.

Both the union and Mr. Tilbrook told The Epoch Times they expect Mr. Bailey to win his case against the West Midlands Ambulance Service for unfair dismissal following the Trotman ruling, in which it emerged that it was never written into law that any workers had to take the vaccines in order to keep their jobs, meaning all such sackings could be considered unlawful.

The preliminary hearing for Mr. Bailey’s tribunal, where he is claiming for both unfair dismissal and discrimination, ruled that his discrimination claim is admissible because his beliefs ought to be considered a protected characteristic, in the same way that religious or “gender critical” views are.

Philosophical Beliefs

Mr. Tilbrook, who is chairman of the WEU and acts as the main solicitor in the cases it brings, told The Epoch Times the ruling was “significant.”

“It’s a point of law, and although it’s a preliminary hearing, it has actually determined that point. So when we come to the trial, it won’t be open to the respondents to argue that [Mr. Bailey] hasn’t got a protected characteristic.

“It’s significant for Mr. Bailey and also it means we’ve got the door open now, we’ve got our foot in the door on bodily autonomy and homeopathy.

“It’s in the same section as religion, and now also what is important is your philosophical beliefs.”

He said the only remaining defence that employers had open to them for sacking employees was that they themselves had a policy around vaccination, which accounts for a relatively small percentage of the claims. He is acting for employees in an appeal against Barchester Homes after the company initially won the case against staff as it had its own policy.

“If we win the appeal against Barchester Homes, then there will be no grounds on which people could have been sacked without it being unfair,” he said.

Stephen Morris of the WEU told The Epoch Times: “This is the first time we have had a ruling that says belief in homeopathy and bodily autonomy should be considered a protected characteristic under law, so it is important if they ever try this again.

“We expect he [Mr. Bailey] will win his case since it was never actually the law that any workers had to be sacked because of not having the jabs, so because of the Trotman case that we had last year, any worker should win their case for unfair dismissal automatically.”

He added that the latest ruling had not been reported across the media and so public awareness of it was low, as was the case with the Trotman ruling.

“It doesn’t fit in with the agenda, so it wasn’t reported by the mainstream.”

He said some of the workers who were fired are involved in class actions against the government, naming former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former Health Secretary Sajid Javid, and other ministers in their lawsuits, while others are bringing action directly against their employers, as in the case of Mr. Bailey.

Last November, a judge ruled that Maurice Trotman was unfairly dismissed by his former employer after the WEU successfully argued that official COVID-19 regulations were not in force when he was fired and that it was only ever government “guidance” that health and social care workers had to have the jabs.

Mr. Trotman had worked for three years at The Royal Star & Garter Homes, a charity which provides care for veterans and their partners who live with disability or dementia.

He was awarded £12,000, over £9,000 of which was compensation, after the judge found that care home bosses had a “genuine but mistaken belief” that there was a legal requirement mandating dismissal for refusing a COVID-19 jab.

40,000 Workers Left Jobs

Under the Vaccination as the Condition of Deployment policy, an estimated 40,000 social care workers left their jobs in November 2021.

The commencement date of the policy was pushed back to come into force on April 1, 2022 by order of Mr. Javid, and the guidance was subsequently withdrawn on March 15, 2022.

The judge ruled that Royal Star & Garter Homes had not understood the differences between statutory law, secondary legislation, case law, and government guidance.

The employer had also rejected the WEU exemption certificate issued on behalf of Mr. Trotman as well as his certification, both of which were allowed under the draft policy, but insisted he had to follow the NHS exemption route, something that was not in the legislation.

WEU has successfully challenged numerous employers that mandated masks and COVID-19 vaccines, and has around 15 such ongoing cases.

The Epoch Times contacted Mr. Bailey for comment. The West Midlands Ambulance Service declined to comment because the case is ongoing.