(NEW ZEALAND HERALD) — A meat worker sacked for refusing to work on the Sabbath has been awarded almost $30,000 compensation after successfully arguing the decision breached his human rights.

Jalesi Nakarawa complained to the Human Rights Review Tribunal that Affco New Zealand terminated his job on religious grounds.

Mr Nakarawa told the tribunal he belonged to the Church of God and believed that, as required by the Fifth Commandment, the Sabbath must be observed – meaning he could not engage in paid work between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday, according to the tribunal decision released today.

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