A WOMAN was sacked from a private Oxford college for her poor performance and not because she is gay, a judge has ruled.

Carmel Conway accused Oxford Business College of discriminating against her after she announced she was engaged to her girlfriend.

But an employment judge found that was untrue and that she had been dismissed over concerns about the standard of her work, as the George Street college had previously claimed.

Ms Conway had claimed ‘attitudes towards her turned for the worse after she announced her engagement to her same sex partner,’ according to tribunal papers.

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Employment judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto threw out claims of unfair dismissal, direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and being subjected to detriment because she made protected disclosures.

He said the claims were ‘not well founded’ and dismissed them after the tribunal was held in April and in a second session for one day last month.

He said Ms Conway was subjected to a ‘heavy’ workload but that it had nothing to do with her sexuality.

Court papers state: “[Ms Conway] lays the blame at [the college], who she says just made more demands on her. [The college] states that the claimant’s way of working and absences created a situation where the claimant’s workload was very heavy.”

The tribunal accepted such a heavy workload was ‘capable of amounting to harassment’ – but that it was unrelated to her being gay.

Ms Conway claimed the college did not want to be associated with gay people because of Middle Eastern students who attend it.

At the hearing, Ms Conway claimed: “I feel that my engagement to my partner triggered senior management to subject my work to a massive amount of scrutiny, as well as overloading me with work.”

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Padmesh Gupta, the college’s managing director, said: “The college is well known for its equality and diversity, and we have always prided ourselves on this best practice. It was particularly distressing to see how affected the OBC team were by the claim.

“During the tribunal period, many staff members found the false allegations upsetting, especially as they work very hard to create a warm, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere within the college for the benefit of our students and all concerned.”

Dr Gupta added: “These false allegations also wasted a considerable amount of time creating extra and unnecessary pressure for the team and myself, so we are therefore very grateful for the outcome in favour of Oxford Business College.

“Most importantly, I thank all our colleagues, associates and students, for their unwavering support and good wishes which were of great help and comfort to us.”