Is veganism a “philosophical belief” that should be protected by law?

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An employment tribunal is being asked to decide whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” and therefore, should be protected by law.

The landmark case, which is listed for March 2019, will help determine whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” and therefore, should be legally protected.

The case concerns Jordi Casamitjana, who says he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports, after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing. The BBC reports that the League Against Cruel Sports says Mr Casamitjana was dismissed for gross misconduct. However, Mr Casamitjana claims he was discriminated against because of his veganism.

If the tribunal decides that it is, the discrimination claim is expected to proceed to a full trial.

What do employment lawyers and HRs think?

Should veganism be given the same protection as “Religion or belief” (and be one of nine “protected characteristics” covered by the Equality Act 2010?) or not? Will it be difficult to distinguish between “ethical vegans” and those who follow a plant-based diet for health or lifestyle reasons? How can employers ensure staff are not discriminated against because of their ethical/lifestyle choices? All thoughts welcome!

Please do get in touch with your views. Drop us a line in the comments below or email:

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