How can we help?


Ethical veganism is a philosophical belief protected by law

The Tribunal in Casamitjana Costa v The League Against Cruel Sports has ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief protected under the Equality Act 2010.  Ethical veganism involves individuals eating a plant-based diet but also seeking to exclude all forms of animal exploitation including, for example, avoiding using products which have been tested on animals.

The Claimant was dismissed after he raised concerns that the company’s pension fund was being invested in organisations involved with animal testing.  He is bringing a number of claims against his ex-employer including those for discrimination based on a philosophical belief, namely his belief in ethical veganism.  For a belief to amount to a ‘philosophical belief’ under the Equality Act 2010 it must:

  • Be genuinely held;
  • Be a belief, not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available;
  • Be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour;
  • Attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance; and
  • Be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not be incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others

Bringing a number of claims against his ex-employer including those for discrimination based on a philosophical belief

At a Preliminary Hearing this month, the Tribunal held that ethical veganism met these tests and, as such, the case will now proceed to a full hearing on the merits of the claims. This is a landmark decision confirming that ethical veganism is a belief protected by law.  With a growing number of the population adhering to this belief, it is an important decision for employers to take note of.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 16 May 2024
  • Immigration

What Employers need to know about Biometric Residence Permits

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) are biometric immigration documents that are issued to non-EEA nationals and EEA nationals, who have been granted permission to stay in the UK.

  • 14 May 2024

Clarkslegal’s London team moves to new Chancery Lane office

The London office of Clarkslegal has relocated to Chancery House, on Chancery Lane. The staff is enthusiastic about the relocation because Chancery Lane has a longstanding association with the legal profession in London.

  • 10 May 2024
  • Employment

New duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment – coming October 2024

The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 2023 is due to come into force in October 2024.

  • 09 May 2024
  • Employment

Labour Party Employment Law Proposals – Promises of further consultations and a softer approach

The Prime Minister recently announced a raft of changes, to be implemented in the next parliament, aimed at reducing the number of people who are economically inactive due to illness.

  • 09 May 2024
  • Corporate and M&A

Navigating corporate transparency: ECCTA reforms series – part 1

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (ECCTA) received Royal Assent in October 2023 and marked a pivotal moment in corporate governance and transparency.

  • 07 May 2024
  • Employment

Changes to TUPE rules from 1 July 2024

The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (‘TUPE’) aim to safeguard employees’ rights on the transfer of a business or on the change of a service.