It’s been reported in the press that an Employment Tribunal made a finding of unlawful religious discrimination in a case involving a Wicca-practising Pagan witch.

Karen Holland said that she was dismissed from her job at a Londis newsagent after she attended a Halloween ceremony. Her employer claimed that she was fired after she was caught her stealing a magazine and a lottery ticket. However, Mrs Holland told the Tribunal that her bosses had fired her after they found out she was a practising Pagan.

She said that she was ridiculed for her beliefs and told of how she had been asked whether modern day witches could fly on broom sticks. In its judgment, the Tribunal noted that Mrs Holland had described her boss as “revolted by the idea that she was a Wiccan” and was made to feel that there was something wrong with her.

Mrs Holland brought claims of unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and religious discrimination. The Tribunal found that the way she had been dismissed was ‘indefensible’ and breached ‘the basics of natural justice’. Her employer was ordered to pay £15,337.12 in total (with an award of £6,145.44 being made for unfair dismissal and the remainder in respect of the discrimination claims).

Her employer is appealing the decision.

Julie Keir

Practice Development Lawyer at Brodies LLP
As a Practice Development Lawyer Julie is responsible for developing and maintaining Brodies Workbox, our award-winning online HR and employment law resource.
Julie Keir