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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 April, 2003, 06:27 GMT 07:27 UK
Sunday work challenge dismissed
Steven Copsey
Steven Copsey worked for the company for 14 years
A man who claimed he was sacked because he objected to working on Sundays has lost his case for unfair dismissal.

Stephen Copsey, 32, a devout Christian, told an industrial tribunal in January that a Norfolk chemicals company had dismissed him after he had refused to work on Sundays.

A tribunal ruling, which has just been published, has concluded WBB Devon Clays of King's Lynn acted reasonably.

Mr Copsey worked for the company for more than 14 years.

He joined the company, which funded him to do a university degree, when he left school.

Sunday Special

But when round-the-clock working was introduced in April 2002 to meet a large order, managers could not guarantee Mr Copsey would never be called in on a Sunday.

At first colleagues filled the shifts Mr Copsey would have done, but in July 2002 he was asked to leave.

Mr Copsey's action was supported by the Cambridge-based Keep Sunday Special campaign, which claims that Christians do not have the same protections under the Race Relations Act as other groups.

Paul Diamond, his barrister, said the tribunal was a test case under the Human Rights Act aiming to protect an individual's liberty to follow their religious beliefs.

WBB, which operates clay and sand quarries in the UK, employs 59 people at its King's Lynn plant.


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