Storbritannia har hatt flere saker der ansatte er truet med oppsigelse fordi de bærer et lite kors rundt halsen. Opinionen reagerer på at kristendommen marginaliseres og diskrimineres, mens islam ser ut til å vinne frem med sine særkrav angående klær og diett og symboler. Det er konfliktskapende.
Det er særlig innen offentlig sektor at man nekter ansatte å bære kristne symboler, og politikken får dermed et offisielt stempel. Det ikke bare kravene, men måten de fremsettes på, som gir inntrykk av at man ikke tåler kristne symboler.
Helen Slatter er phlebologist, en spesialist på sykdommer i blodårene. Men sykehuset i Glouctershire synes det er viktigere at hun ikke bærer et kors på innsiden av klærne enn at hun blir i jobben. De stilte henne et ultimatum. Fjern korset eller slutt.
Ms Slatter, a phlebologist who collects blood samples at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, in Gloucester, was told at a disciplinary meeting that her position was at risk if she continued to wear the one inch-tall crucifix.
The NHS Trust insisted that their demands were due to a uniform policy and not down to religion.
However, Ms Slater’s parish priest suggested that the trust’s policy was «inconsistent» and could be interpreted as driven by attitudes to religion.
Ms Slatter, 43, said: «It is a horrible situation. I have always worn my cross inside my uniform. It means a lot to me and I am not going to take it off.
«I think they were surprised when I said I was not willing to remove it.»
The mother-of-one, from Gloucester, added: «They have told me that for health and safety reasons and for infection control I must take it off or I will be sent home.
«My faith is important to me but I’m not a Bible basher. I don’t push it on colleagues or other people. Half of my colleagues don’t even know I go to church.
«Now I have to choose between my job and my faith and that’s an awful situation to be in.
«They have told me I can carry it in my pocket but that simply isn’t the same. Nuns who visit patients in the hospital openly wear a crucifix, and many patients wear a cross or crucifix.»
A spokesman for the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust said «The issue is not one of religion. The trust employs a uniform policy which must be adhered to at all times.
«This policy applies to all staff employed by the trust who wear a uniform on duty.
«Necklaces and chains present two problems – firstly, they can provide a surface that can harbour and spread infections and secondly they present a health and safety issue whereby a patient could grab a necklace or chain and cause harm to the member of staff.
«As an employer, the trust has to ensure that all staff are provided with a safe environment to be able to go about their duty.»
In 2006, British Airways employee Nadia Eweida lost her fight to openly wear a cross necklace at work at Heathrow but was allowed back to work after the company changed its uniform policy.
In the same year BBC newsreader Fiona Bruce also came under fire from managers for wearing a cross while presenting the news.
Slatter hadde arbeidet ved sykehuset i fem år. Men hun ønsket ikke å arbeide for en arbeidsgiver som behandlet henne på denne måten. Hun sluttet.