Occupational requirements for faith-based organisations: Muhammed v Leprosy Mission International

In Muhammed v Leprosy Mission International [2009] (Employment Tribunal Cases no.16 ET/2303459/09), BWB’s Lucy McLynn acted for Leprosy Mission International in a groundbreaking case which had wide-ranging implications for hiring practices in some religious-ethos organisations. 

Lucy successfully argued that recruiting only Christian staff was a legitimate occupational requirement in certain circumstances. In this particular case, Leprosy Mission International had refused an application for a vacancy as finance administrator from a Muslim applicant, who then claimed discrimination on the grounds of religion.

The tribunal held that it was lawful for the charity to insist on Christianity as an occupational requirement, as the ethos permeated every aspect of the workplace (eg, the day began with prayers every morning). If the charity had hired a non-Christian, it would have had an impact on how effectively the charity could maintain its ethos.  

Click here to view the judgment.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of January 23, 2018.