Workplace rights: Feeling the heat

Will workers be able to claim for discrimination against their green beliefs under religious equality laws?

by Michael Burd and James Davies, Lewis Silkin LLP solicitors - e-mail:
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Environmentalism is the new religion, it's said, but a ruling due from the Employment Appeal Tribunal could make that truer than ever. It will establish whether employees can use religious equality laws to claim discrimination on grounds of their green convictions. Tim Nicholson was head of sustainability at property investment company Grainger till made redundant last year. He claimed that his strong environmental principles had put him at odds with other managers, prompting his dismissal. A tribunal decided that his case could be considered under the 2003 Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations because it was based on a 'philosophical belief'. His views went beyond scientific opinions and amounted to a profound belief system and moral order similar to religions, the tribunal said. Whatever the outcome of the company's appeal, issues of climate change are likely to trigger more workplace disputes. Employees might, for instance, claim they've suffered for 'blowing the whistle' on environmental malpractice.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

How to use workplace conflict to your advantage

But beware the festering feud.

Efficient chickens, less stuff, more optimism: The real way to address climate change ...

What is dematerialisation, and why does it matter?

The 5 behaviours of charismatic leaders

How to become more inspirational (without having a personality transplant).

When should you step down as CEO?

Bob Iger's departure poses an unpopular question for bosses.

The death and resurrection of the premium customer

Top-end service is no longer at the discretion of the management.

What HS2 can teach you about project failure

And how you can prevent projects going astray.