Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 10:33 UK

Devon nurse loses crucifix 'ban' claim at tribunal

Shirley Chaplin
Mrs Chaplin said she would continue to wear her cross to work

A Christian nurse moved to a desk job after refusing to remove her crucifix at work has lost a discrimination claim against her employers.

Shirley Chaplin, from Exeter, had argued the cross "ban" prevented her from expressing her religious beliefs.

But an employment tribunal ruled that the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospitals NHS Trust, where she worked, had acted in a reasonable manner.

Mrs Chaplin said it was a "very poor day" for Christians in the workplace.

The law doesn't appear to be on the Christian side
Shirley Chaplin

Jane Viner, the trust's Acting Director of Nursing, said it was "absolutely satisfied" with the tribunal's decision.

She said: "These were very serious allegations of direct and indirect discrimination and we're satisfied that the tribunal has completely dismissed them."

She said Mrs Chaplin, 54, was a respected nurse and had a future at the hospital.

Mrs Chaplin, who is intending to appeal against the decision, said: "The law doesn't appear to be on the Christian side."

She said Christians in the workplace would feel "quite persecuted" by the ruling.

Compromises rejected

The NHS trust's uniform and dress code prohibits front-line staff from wearing any type of necklace in case patients try to grab them.

It offered Mrs Chaplin the compromise of wearing her cross pinned inside a uniform lapel or pocket, but she said being asked to hide her faith was "disrespectful".

She said the hospital had rejected any of the compromises she had suggested, such as wearing a shorter chain.

Mrs Chaplin, who is scheduled to return to work on Wednesday, said she would continue to wear her crucifix on duty.

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Derbyshire Times Nurse who refused to hide crucifix loses case - 12 hrs ago
People Management Online Nurse loses crucifix discrimination claim - 20 hrs ago
This is Devon 'A sad day for Christians' - 22 hrs ago
Exeter Express and Echo Crucifix nurse loses tribunal - 22 hrs ago
Times Online Crucifix ban nurse Shirley Chaplin loses NHS discrimination case - 28 hrs ago

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