'Hurt' atheist asks for pound;5,000

29th July 2005 at 01:00
An atheist teacher who claims his authority was guilty of religious discrimination when it did not interview him for a promoted pastoral care post in a denominational school has asked for up to pound;5,000 in compensation for injury to his feelings and potential lost earnings.

The employment tribunal hearing resumed this week of the religious discrimination claim against Glasgow City Council by David McNab, aged 53, a maths teacher at St Paul's Roman Catholic High in Glasgow. Brian Napier, QC, representing Mr McNab, urged the tribunal to award compensation for injury to feelings and loss of opportunity to apply for a post, which would have meant a salary difference of pound;8,000 a year.

Mr Napier said a lower award would not compensate Mr McNab for the frustration and annoyance he experienced and would diminish respect for the policy of anti-discrimination legislation.

Ian Truscott, QC, for Glasgow City Council, argued at an earlier sitting of the tribunal that the pastoral care post was "reserved", meaning it had to be held by a practising Catholic. He said many non-Catholics would find it "not only difficult, but morally and ethically objectionable, to provide Catholic-compliant advice".

Mr Truscott said: "The principal teacher of pastoral care in a Roman Catholic school can (or should) exert no free will or independent judgment in such matters, but is required to give advice, based on their faith, that is in accordance with the doctrinal teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."

The case continues on August 16.

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