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Court rules against Police Service of Northern Ireland over favouritism to Freemasons

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Personnel Today

Court rules against Police Service of Northern Ireland over bias to Masons

16 October 2006

A police officer in Northern Ireland was discriminated against because he was not a Mason, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Royal Ulster Constabulary reserve constable Joseph Gibson was moved from the motor transport depot in 1999 during staff cutbacks. Another reservist who kept his job was not as well trained as Gibson, but was a member of the Masonic Order, reports BBC News Online.

The Fair Employment Tribunal held Gibson was unlawfully discriminated against on grounds of religious belief.

In a ruling the tribunal said: "The respondents did not provide a neutral working environment. As a result, those officers who did not belong to the Masonic Order felt uncomfortable and excluded because of the actions of those who did."

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said the force was studying the judgment closely.

A separate remedies hearing will be held in the future.

Mike Berry (About this Author)

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