A Norwich employment tribunal has recently ruled that ethical veganism amounts to a philosophical belief, thereby affording its protection under the Equality Act 2010.
Jordi Casamitjana has brought a claim against the League Against Cruel Sports alleging that he has been dismissed due to his ethical veganism beliefs, after he raised concerns that his former employer had been investing its pension funds in companies that tested products on animals.
Whilst the case is ongoing and it is yet to be decided by the Tribunal whether or not in this particular instance the former employer was dismissed because of his belief, the Tribunal has determined that ethical veganism is a belief capable of being one afforded protection against discrimination.
It should be noted that this judgment is within the first tier of the Employment Tribunal and therefore it does not have a binding effect. However, it does provide employers with some guidance as to the likely treatment of ethical veganism before the Tribunal in the future.
Practically speaking, this means that employers will potentially need to consider the services and products provided in the workplace and undertake measures such as, for example, avoiding wool in uniforms and offering vegan-friendly food options.
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