Springhouse Solicitors

Pope comment in Times newsroom harassment

An employment tribunal has dismissed a harassment claim brought by a sub-editor at the Times. The sub-editor alleged that another sub-editor had created a hostile environment by shouting across the newsroom, referring to the Pope, in breach of the law against harassment on grounds of religion or belief.

The tribunal found that the reference to the Pope had in fact been a reference to the name of a story and not the Pope himself. It had therefore not been made on the grounds of religion or belief and was not unlawful harassment (which is a form of discrimination).

In coming to its decision, the tribunal had in mind an appeal case in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal had emphasised that the law was aimed solely with equality rather than seeking to address all forms of bullying or anti-social behaviour in the workplace.