Job’s worth

Neil Barber (Letters, 26 December) raises the case of the Marks & Spencer employee whose religious beliefs prevented her from handling pork and alcohol. The fault for this situation is entirely that of her employer, who should have written a more detailed job description, which would have prevented her from being appointed in the first place.

For example, when I became a sales representative many years ago, my job description specified that I should hold a clean current driving licence and be a UK passport holder. Without those, I would have not even have made it to the interview stage.

What do people find so difficult about the application of common sense these days?

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Malcolm Parkin

Gamekeepers Road

Kinnesswood, Kinross

Neil Barbour, speaking on behalf of the Edinburgh Secular Society, was a touch melodramatic about a member of Marks & Spencer’s refusing to serve customers buying alcohol.

It was not a case of “gross religious privilege”, but of mere bad customer service.

This problem has been easily solved by customer pressure, without needing histrionics from secularists.

Employers should try to accommodate the personal principles of staff, but this might not always be possible. Secularists such as Mr Barbour demand that employers be utterly inflexible on every occasion. 

Richard Lucas


Colinton, Edinburgh