Discrimination – what is a ‘Philosophical Belief’?

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The evidence showed the Claimant's lifestyle reflected serious beliefs about climate change.

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The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) regulations 2003 now prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion, or belief.  In a recent case (Nicholson v Granger plc and others) an employee claimed he had been dismissed, not for redundancy as the employer claimed, but for the belief that carbon emissions must be reduced to avoid climate change. 

The Claimant was employed by the Company’s Head of Sustainability.  The Claimant won the case but the employer is to lodge an appeal.  The evidence showed the Claimant’s lifestyle reflected serious beliefs about climate change.  It is therefore in the realms of possibility that other claims may arise for other strongly held beliefs including vegetarianism, other ‘green’ issues and the case of the British National Party might be re-decided now there has been an amendment of the law. 

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