Ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” protected by law rules employment tribunal

Read Time:   |  3rd January 2020

A landmark employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a "philosophical belief" and thus protected by the law.

For the first time ever, a groundbreaking employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” meaning those who identify as ethical vegans are entitled to protection from discrimination.

This morning (Friday 3rd January), tribunal judge Robin Postle ruled that the belief of ethical veganism is protected under the Equality Act 2010 following a case bought forward by vegan Jordi Casamitjana.

Casamitjana claims to have been fired from his role at the League Against Cruel Sports after he disclosed to his colleagues that the animal welfare charity had invested its employee’s pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.

The case was bought forward as Casamitjana said he was ‘unfairly disciplined’ due to his philosophical belief in ethical veganism, although his previous employer claims he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Casamitjana’s lawyers argued that ethical veganism should be protected under the Equality Act 2010 as it meets the requirements for it to be seen as a philosophical or religious belief by the law.

In his ruling, Judge Postle said ethical veganism was “important” and “worthy” of respect in a democratic society.

He said: “I am satisfied overwhelmingly that ethical veganism does constitute a philosophical belief.”

In order for it to be ruled as a protected belief under the Act, a belief must be genuinely held, be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour, attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.

Speaking after the ruling, Casamitjana said: “I am extremely happy. I didn’t expect a judgment today. This is a very important ruling for vegans everywhere in the world. That will inspire other vegans in other countries that don’t have that protection to develop cases that will lead to that protection.”

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