Tuesday 27 June 2017

Talking God in the office might be boring but it hardly counts as a sacking offence

Mr McAteer said that he was sharing the word of Jesus and the Gospel with people
Mr McAteer said that he was sharing the word of Jesus and the Gospel with people
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

Fortunately, it's not a sacking offence to be the office bore, even if droning on about your pet subject irritates colleagues. Otherwise, a great many sports fans would be shown the door. Out of work, too, would be fitness-fixated people who insist on sharing every detail of their gym regime. Obsessive calorie-counters would be gone, not to mention parents and dog-owners who expect everyone to share their infatuation.

But South Tipperary County Council concluded it was acceptable to fire an employee because he was a born again Christian, who found he couldn't help speaking about his religious beliefs to co-workers and members of the public. A recent Equality Tribunal ruling has shown the council the error of its ways.

It might be a relief for council staff not to have someone quoting the Bible at them over their morning coffee, when they'd prefer to discuss politics, or the latest plot twist in their favourite soap, or just to be left in peace. But God talk at work is hardly fair grounds for dismissal - even when warnings are given. People should lose their jobs for incompetence. Not because we dislike what they say.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss