FCBC gets nod from court for judicial review against MOM decision

SINGAPORE - Faith Community Baptist Church has been given the green light by the High Court to proceed with its bid to seek judicial review of the Manpower Ministry's order for it to compensate a pregnant employee who was sacked after she supposedly committed adultery.

This paves the way for the church, one of Singapore's largest with a 10,000-strong congregation, to challenge the ministry's decision in a later hearing. No date has yet been set for the review hearing.

A judicial review is when someone asks the High Court to evaluate the decisions of public bodies such as ministries and statutory boards. The party launching the challenge first has to get leave - or permission - from the court before the actual review can be heard. If leave is not granted, the case will be thrown out.

FCBC's application for leave was granted on Thursday in chambers by Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy.

The case concerns an administrative worker at the church who was fired in 2012 after the church found out she was supposedly pregnant with the child of another church employee.

She complained to the ministry.

In August last year, then-Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin decided she was "dismissed without sufficient cause" and ordered the church to compensate the woman's salary and maternity benefits of $7,000.