07 October 2011 #Employment
In a judgement passed on 4 March 2011 in Hashman v Milton Park (Dorset) Ltd t/a Orchard Park, an employment Tribunal held that a belief in the sanctity of life, extending to a fervent anti-fox hunting belief, constituted a philosophical belief for the purposes of the Religion or Belief Regulations (now enshrined in the Equality Act 2010).
However, the Tribunal stressed that its decision was very much based on the facts of the case and did not mean that all opponents of fox hunting would be protected by the law in this way. Mr Hashman’s evidence convinced the Tribunal that his beliefs affected every aspect of his daily life.
Orchard Park Garden Centre appealed this decision and the appeal heard by the EAT on Thursday 6 October 2011. The EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision, rejecting the appeal made by Orchard Park challenging the unfair dismissal ruling in favour of the ex-employee and animal rights activist.
Judge Peter Clark decided the appeal “disclosed no reasonable prospects of success” noting that the law had been applied correctly by the original Employment Judge.