Dr David Mackereth, a contract worker at the DWP’s assessment centre refused to refer to transgender claimants by their preferred name, gender pronoun and title. He made comment “if you have a man six feet tall with a beard, who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs’; would you do that?”
Dr Mackereth claimed that doing what he was requested to do was at odds with his Christian faith and he would not be able to do so in good conscience.
The ET found his objection was “incompatible with human dignity” and any refusal to refer to a transgender person by their relevant pronouns would constitute unlawful discrimination or harassment under the Equality Act.
“What this case concerned is whether he was entitled to manifest those beliefs in the circumstances that applied here. He accepted that his beliefs meant that insofar as a service user was a transgender individual within the meaning of the Equality Act, that whilst he did not wish them to, his actions would cause offence and potentially breach the Equality Act.
“We find that if the service user also held a full gender recognition certificate Dr Mackereth’s position was that he would also potentially breach the Gender Recognition Act for the reasons we give above.”
Dr Mackereth intends to appeal the decision.