Jordi Casamitjana, a former employee of League Against Cruel Sports took the charity to court for unfair dismissal – a claim the charity denies but does not deny that ethical veganism should be protected in law.
Judge Robin Postle ruled on Thursday that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010. But how will this ruling affect businesses in Brighton?
An employee (who wishes to remain anonymous) at Vegan-friendly footware outlet, Vegetarian Shoes on Gardener street, says he supports the ruling, as he is “against the dismissal of employees based on their own beliefs”.
Across the road, another anonymous employee of Vegan eatery Loving Hut spoke to us about the ruling. She supports a change to UK laws, however says “potential employees should research the background of companies they apply to, first”.
Peter Daly, principal employment lawyer at national firm Slater and Gordon, told the Law Gazette that the recognition of ethical veganism “will have potentially significant effects on employment and the workplace, education, transport and the provision of goods and services.”
However, Barry Ross, director at specialist firm Crossland Employment Solicitors, told Sky News that the landmark ruling “does not have to be followed and does not implement any change in the law”.
Instead, he suggests it merely advises UK employers on the treatment of ethical vegan employees, and “the types of steps they should be considering for their employees and the workplace.”