Is Veganism a 'Belief' Under the Equality Act?

Is Veganism a 'Belief' Under the Equality Act?

  • Date: Thursday 20th December 2018
  • PDF: Download

The case:

Jordi Casamitjana, an ethical vegan (somebody who is vegan by ethical choice, rather than as a result of a medical requirement), questioned his employer’s pension arrangements, since their plan invested in animal testing organisations.

He was later dismissed for gross misconduct, which his employer claims was unrelated to his complaint. Casamitjana disagrees and claims that The League Against Cruel Sports (an animal rights charity) discriminated against him.

The underlying issue:

The court will consider if

  1. The claimant was dismissed fairly, following the appropriate procedures.

  2. The decision to dismiss was reasonable under the circumstances.

  3. The decision was in any way linked to possible discrimination.

While points a. and b. will be fairly easy to establish, the courts will have to investigate point c. by firstly establishing if ‘Ethical Veganism’ is considered a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. If so, then this belief should receive special consideration and discrimination against it would be unlawful.

The case is due to be heard in March 2019.

Source: Manuela Grossmann, SSG

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