In the UK, the number of people identifying as a vegan has increased by 350% compared to a decade ago, according to research commissioned by the vegan society. Employers already face many difficult challenges and whether to take steps to accommodate vegan requirements in the workplace is likely to grow as an issue as the number of people adopting veganism is rising.
Vegans are sometimes considered alongside vegetarians as a group with certain dietary requirements, but strict vegans go beyond simply ensuring they eat a plant-based diet and are, for example, opposed to leather furniture or using everyday products which have been tested on animals.
The question of whether for some people their veganism will attract protection under the Equality Act, on the basis that it is a philosophical belief, is due to be considered later this year before an employment tribunal in the case of Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports. In our view, it is highly likely that a genuinely held belief in veganism, as opposed to simply an opinion or viewpoint on following a vegan diet, will attract protection. Plant-based food for thought for employers!
Posted on May 13, 2019