In The News : Ethical Veganism Protected Under The Equality Act

On the 3rd of January, a tribunal ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief. This could have a dramatic effect on business operations, the rules and regulations we have to follow. In this blog, we’ll explain how this happened, what it actually means and the potential changes that businesses may be required to make. 

How it happened

Jordi Casamitjana brought the case to a judge after being dismissed from his previous place of work. He believed that he was being discriminated against by his previous employer because of his strong ties with veganism. 

After a tribunal, a court ruled that “ethical vegans should be entitled to similar legal protections in British workplaces as those who hold religious beliefs” (source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50981359). 

However, they are yet to rule on whether or not Casamitjana was unlawfully dismissed from his previous job role. After being interviewed on the court's rulings, Casamitjana commented that he is “extremely happy” and hopes that other vegans, like himself, “will benefit” from the results.

What is a philosophical belief?

Essentially, ethical veganism being classified as a philosophical belief means those that follow it are protected under law for a variety of things. This puts it in the same category as religions and other religious beliefs.

This also means followers are protected by the Equality Act of 2020, which protects you from discrimination for nine key characteristics;

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Ethical veganism now falls under the belief category.

What could this mean for employers?

As this means all the rules that apply to each of the nine protected characteristics, also apply to ethical veganism, employers must treat them the same. This means you can’t discriminate or treat someone differently because they’re vegan.

You may also be required to provide the ability for ethical vegans to follow their belief. much like it may be required to provide prayer rooms for some religions, it may be necessary to provide vegan alternatives to food, or even ensure your uniforms are in line with ethical veganism.

 

Employment with Prestige Recruitment

At Prestige, we’re 100% committed to supporting our candidates. offering an ethical, professional recruitment service from the moment they step through our door.

Additional information about the way we work, our industry accreditations, awards and association memberships can be found at https://www.prestige-recruitment.com/about-us

Alternatively, for more about how we can help you find your next employees, please contact your local Prestige Recruitment office in Hull, Norwich, Leeds or Huddersfield.

Posted: Wed 12 Feb 2020
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