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Social Worker Rachel Meade wins Employment Tribunal Case against Social Work England and Westminster City Council - EBSWA's Comment

Rachel Meade ET Judgement Jan 24
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Rachel's solicitors provided a summary of the case and the Tribunal's findings here

EBSWA Comment - Why This Matters for Social Work across the UK

No-one should suffer harassment and persecution at work for holding and expressing their legitimate views. The Tribunal found that both SWE, the government funded regulator of social work in England, and Westminster City Council, Rachel's employer had harassed and persecuted her for holding the entirely legitimate belief that people can not change sex. Rachel was sanctioned by SWE for expressing that view in a private Facebook page. Her employer then suspended her and also two colleagues who they claimed should have reported Rachel's posts as unacceptable in a practicing social worker.

The Tribunal found for Rachel and condemned both her employer and the regulator. This is clearly an important victory for freedom of speech on sex and claims about "gender identity".


For social workers, and others responsible for public protection, there is an added importance about being able to openly discuss and challenge beliefs and practices that may interfere with their duties.

EBSWA supported Rachel's case not only to protest what was clearly unfair and oppressive treatment, but because the silencing of challenge and discussion, and insistence on adherence to belief in gender identity  by employers and regulators is preventing social workers and others from doing the job that the public expects and deserves that we should do.

Despite the obvious lessons of the Rochdale case, the report if which was published within the same week, that no community, no organisation, no person should be above suspicion or exempt from the law, Social Work England, responsible for public protection, fell head first into the Rochdale trap. Despite all we know about how Jimmy Saville and other predators operated in full view with official approval SWE and Westminster Council chose to shoot the messenger.

Organisational blindness and complicity with deceit has no place in social work or in policing. Rachel Meade was condemned by SWE for a satirical post pointing to the obvious risk to children of insisting as a matter of principle that any man who declares he is a woman must be accepted as a woman. The SWE conclusion was that any objection to allowing men to declare they are women is "transphobic" and must be persecuted and silenced in the name of "acceptance" and "inclusion".

The risks of children being abused by men posing as women were all too obvious even before a trans-identifying man in the Scottish Borders enticed a lost girl into his car by posing as a woman offering a lift See our previous correspondence with CAFCASS, the government funded organisation which advises the courts on children and family cases. CAFCAS has also fallen into the Rochdale trap, and demands acceptance of self ID of gender identity (i.e. of sex) by either adults or children who they work with.

The importance of Rachel's ET victory is therefore not just for free speech but to ensure that social workers can in future do our jobs properly, without fear of being accused of transphobia for knowing the difference between a man and a woman, a child and an adult.

Social Work employers across the UK who have imposed acceptance of self ID of sex without question must take heed and not only grudgingly allow discussion and challenge but positively take action to ensure this, in the interests of public safety and the integrity of their social work services.

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