Home > The joys of work > Duke Amachree – Things you don’t do at work

Duke Amachree – Things you don’t do at work

A Wandsworth Council worker has been sacked for encouraging a woman to turn to God. In January, the woman went to the council for housing advice because her landlord was selling the privately-rented flat where she lived.  She was hoping to find alternative accommodation near a hospital because she has an incurable bowel condition. Duke Amachree, a homeless prevention officer with the council, was moved by her plight. He told the woman that ‘sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers’ and suggested that she put her faith in God.  The woman was offended and made a complaint to the council.   Mr Amachree was initially suspended but has now been dismissed from his job. He claims that the decision to dismiss him is a breach of his human rights and he is now going to sue the council.

Here are my thoughts on this: However good his intentions were, Mr Amachree exercised poor judgement by preaching to the woman. She was a vulnerable woman who went to the council for housing advice. If she wanted spiritual advice, she would have gone to a place of worship. While Mr Amachree may have acted out of compassion, I think that promoting his beliefs during the course of his duties can be seen as an abuse of his position as a council employee.  I think that The Christian Legal Centre, who has appointed a solicitor to handle his case, is sending out the wrong message.

In a news article, Mr Amachree said,

I was stunned when they suspended me. I thought it was a dream.

He worked for that council for 17 years so how did he not know the consequences of his actions? Discussing religion is discouraged at work for this very reason – your religious views could be offensive to others. I can appreciate some people’s desire to promote their beliefs but these people should be aware that others may not share their enthusiasm or belief.  At work, preaching to your colleague is bad enough but doing it to a member of the public, now that’s treading on dangerous ground. If preaching is not part of your job, then just don’t do it.

I think it’s a real shame he lost his job. I will wait and see how this plays out.

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