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Social worker awarded £58,000 in harassment claim victory over her gender-critical beliefs: Katie Mahoney comments

Posted on 2 May 2024

Rachel Meade, a former social worker with Westminster City Council, has been awarded over £58,000 in compensation after her successful harassment claim related to her gender-critical beliefs.

The London Central employment tribunal ruled that her expressions were protected under the Human Rights Act, leading to a significant compensation order against both her employer and Social Work England.

Speaking to HR Review, Katie Mahoney, Of Counsel in the Employment Group at Mishcon de Reya, underscored the significance of the judgment, particularly the exemplary damages awarded against Social Work England. Katie emphasised the importance of protecting lawful debate and preventing its suppression through punitive regulatory actions.

She said: "This ruling is a landmark moment for freedom of expression and the protection of individual beliefs in the workplace. The award of exemplary damages sends a clear message that regulatory bodies must not overstep their bounds and should be cautious of encroaching on the rights of professionals to express their legally held beliefs."

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