22 December 2011
Minister free to seek unfair dismissal compensation
An ex-church minister is to seek compensation on the grounds of unfair dismissal from her former employer.
Reverend Hayley Preston claims her position at the Methodist Church in Redruth, Cornwall, became untenable in 2009 due to the pressure she was put under to resign, resulting in her leaving her job, the BBC reports.
Ms Preston took legal action against the Church, but the group countered this with the insistence she was actually a "steward in the house of God" rather than an ordinary employee, meaning she could not sue them.
However, a case at the Appeal Court has ruled this is not so, meaning the 50-year-old is now free to pursue damages.
Lord Justice Maurice Kay dismissed the argument of the Church, stating "it surely does not embrace a doctrinal belief that a minister who is treated with unfairness or discrimination must be denied common legal redress".
This comes after it was announced the maximum sum an individual can receive for unfair dismissal in the UK is to rise to £72,300 from next February.
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Posted by Chris Stevenson