Veganism tribunal decision should increase employer awareness

Veganism tribunal decision should increase employer awareness
January 9, 2020

A tribunal decision that ethical veganism can be recognised as a philosophical belief has marked an interesting start to the New Year.

A Judge sitting at the Norwich Employment Tribunal ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief protected by discrimination legislation. The ruling was the result of a case brought by Jordi Casamitjana who alleged he was unfairly sacked by The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) because of his ethical veganism. LACS said he had been dismissed for gross misconduct.

An ethical vegan is, broadly speaking, an individual who opposes the human use of animals for any reason. Some people choose to simply follow a vegan diet – a plant-based diet avoiding all animal products such as dairy, eggs, honey, meat and fish.

While making headlines regarding the facts of the case, the ruling does not reflect a change in the law.

Latham Parry, partner and head of employment law at Watsons Solicitors advised that employers would do well to carefully think about the products and services they provide at work, as well as the policies they operate. In the case of ethical veganism, this could include consideration of food choices, work uniform and even the fabrics of office furniture (such as leather or wool).

He said: “This protection under law could extend to other philosophical beliefs which have not previously been considered, and employers will need to be aware moving forward.

“As this is a decision by an employment tribunal, it is not binding on other tribunals, but demonstrates how ethical veganism is likely to be treated by other employment tribunals.

“Interestingly, the respondent in this case – The League Against Cruel Sports – did not oppose the claimant’s assertion that ethical veganism was a belief, so do not expect an appeal against this decision.

“In this instance, it does not mean that anyone who is a vegan will be protected under the Equality Act, the nature of ethical veganism is quite extensive and impacts on many different lifestyle choices; each case will still have to be decided on its own facts.”

The Equality Act 2010 protects employees against discrimination and other prohibited conduct in relation to nine ‘protected characteristics’:

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


Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 60 years, specialises in family lawemployment lawwills and probate, and conveyancing.

The team of experienced solicitors each hold various accreditations and memberships of professional bodies relevant to their expertise, while the firm’s partners oversee all areas of work.

If you have any queries regarding employment law, please speak to our employment team on 01925 571 212.

Alternatively, click for more information about Watsons Solicitors’ employment law services.

Contact Us

If you are interested or require any information on any of our services then please get in touch for an appointment on:

 01925 571 212
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm

Latest News

Unmarried couples urged to consider creating wills to protect loved ones

A Cheshire-based wills and probate solicitor believes it is imperative that unmarried couples create wills to protect loved ones and ensure their wishes are respected. Jennifer Stewart, a member of the private client department at Warrington’s Watsons Solicitors, has voiced concerns for those in long-term partnerships following the latest marriage statistics. Figures issued by the Office for […]

Watsons Solicitors is backing the Warrington Fund

Watsons Solicitors has thrown its support behind a bid to tackle poverty, disadvantage, and inequality across Warrington. The Bold Street-based law firm sponsored the launch of the Warrington Fund, which is an integral part of the Cheshire Community Foundation’s (CCF) strategic plans. Held at Parrs Bank, the latest arm of the CCF was unveiled, with […]

Budget announcement brings further changes for employers

A Cheshire-based employment law specialist is urging employers to take note of and understand the impact the budget announcement will have on their business. Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced the latest cut to National Insurance, which has been reduced by a further two per cent from ten to eight. National Insurance contributions by […]

Property expert predicts a promising 2024 for housing market

A Cheshire-based residential conveyancing specialist is optimistic the property market will enjoy a more stable 2024. Lauren Hosie of Warrington’s Watsons Solicitors is confident that there are better times ahead for those looking to buy and sell residential property after house prices rose 2.5 per cent in the year to January. The Bank of England’s […]

Watsons Solicitors

Watsons Solicitors is a trading name of Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales registered number OC386012 whose registered office is 13 Bold Street, Warrington, WA1 1DJ.

Watsons Solicitors Warrington LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority number 598547.

Website managed by Outwrite PR, an online reputation management agency
envelope-oclock-ophonefax linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram