09 November 2011 #Employment
The Equality Act 2010 (“EqA 2010”) prohibits discrimination in the workplace because of religion or belief. Guidance from case law states that a” belief” must:
In Lisk v Shield Guardian Co Ltd and others, Mr Lisk claimed religion or belief discrimination after his employer refused to allow him to wear a poppy at work. He argued that, as an ex-serviceman, he considered wearing a poppy obligatory to show respect for the sacrifice of others.
The employment judge rejected Mr Lisk's claims. The judge held that the belief that one should wear a poppy to show respect lacked the characteristics of cogency, cohesion and importance required. Similarly, the belief that we should express support for the sacrifice of others cannot fairly be described as being a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour.
Another recent case held that an anti-fox hunting belief was capable of being protected by the EqA 2010. Clearly, it is very difficult to know which beliefs are covered by the legislation and which are not.