FCBC case not about Church vs State, says national church council

The Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) building at 3 Marine Parade Central. The judicial review being sought by FCBC on the Manpower Minister's decision over the sacking of a worker should not be seen as a Church versus State matter, said the Nati
The Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) building at 3 Marine Parade Central. The judicial review being sought by FCBC on the Manpower Minister's decision over the sacking of a worker should not be seen as a Church versus State matter, said the National Council of Churches on Thursday. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

THE judicial review being sought by the Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC) on the Manpower Minister's decision over the sacking of a worker should not be seen as a Church versus State matter, said the National Council of Churches (NCCS) on Thursday.

Making its first comments on the issue in a letter to its members, the council stressed that it should instead be seen as one concerning obligations between bosses and workers. "From our perspective, this course of action is not to be framed as a Church versus State matter," it said. "Rather, we see the case as one of employer's-employee's obligations and duties under the Employment Act and the common law in this area."

The letter came in the wake of a judicial review filed by FCBC, which had sacked a pregnant administrative worker last year after she committed adultery. After she complained, Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in August decided she was "dismissed without sufficient cause" and ordered the church to compensate the woman's salary and maternity benefits. But FCBC is arguing that it was not allowed to explain its actions.

Commenting on the judicial review, the NCCS said: "We have confidence that the courts will shed light on the matter and decide what is right in the interpretation and application of the law of the land in such instances."