Reverend Canon Pemberton v Right Reverend Richard Inwood

Employment – Discrimination. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (the EAT) upheld the employment tribunal's decision to dismiss the claims for unlawful direct discrimination because of sexual orientation and/or marital status and unlawful harassment brought by a Church of England priest who had married his long-term male partner. The EAT agreed that the employer acting bishop's refusal to grant the priest an Extra Parochial Ministry Licence (EPML) was a 'relevant qualification' within the meaning of s 54(3) of the Equality Act 2010. Accordingly, the EAT dismissed the cross-appeal by the employer against that decision. The EAT further agreed that as the EPML qualification had been for the purposes of employment for the purposes of an organised religion, the compliance principle had been engaged with the result that the employer had been exempt from liability by reason of para 2 of Sch 9 to the Act.

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