The form of discrimination based on religion or philosophical belief is relatively new.  We have all been trying to get to grips with what a philosophical belief may be.  For example, in the last census, enough people put down Jedi Knight as their religion that it actually counted as one for the census.  You may have more of a job convincing the Tribunal though unless you are more of a star wars nut than my hubby.

In a recent case before the ET, the Tribunal determined that a claimant’s belief about climate change and the environment amounted to a philosophical belief.  The case was Nicholson v Grainger plc and others [2009].  The claimant brought an unfair dismissal claim and a claim under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.  The finding was made at a pre-hearing review.

The case followed the EAT case of McClintock v Department for Constitutional Affairs [2008] which set out the test for a philosophical belief as for whether the belief has sufficient cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance and is worthy of respect in a demographic society.  In the Grainger case, the Tribunal found that it was difficult to argue the beliefs around climate change were anything other than this and gave particular weight to the emphasis the subject has in modern global politics.

What else will be covered ….watch this space