Advice issued to employers after veganism ruled a protected belief in the workplace

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The Vegan Society issues advice to employers after court ruling confirms vegans in the workplace are protected by law

In response to the recent landmark legal case that confirmed ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010, The Vegan Society has released new guidance for employers to help businesses ensure their practices are in line with legal duties.

The ruling in the landmark case brought forward by Jordi Casamitjana recognises that ethical vegans are entitled to protections in the workplace in line with those who hold religious beliefs.

The ruling will have a far-reaching impact on employers, meaning that some may need to adapt their workplace policies, practices and environment to accommodate ethical vegans.

For example, an employer requiring its staff to wear safety footwear must consider the needs of vegan employees by providing access to non-leather alternatives, and if providing meals should offer vegan options for employees who require them.

In response to the ruling, The Vegan Society’s legal expert, Dr Jeanette Rowley, said:

“There was never any doubt in my mind that the convictions of vegans come within the scope of legal protection. The strength of this decision is of great significance for vegans and those transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, as well as their employers.

In response to the ruling, The Vegan Society has released a new booklet entitled “Supporting veganism in the workplace: A guide for employers” that offers advice and guidance to businesses. The Vegan Society is more than happy to assist any employer who wants to ensure that their policies align with equality duties, and support them in their endeavor to give due regard to the needs of vegans.

The Vegan Society’s new employer booklet gives information that will help employers understand the needs of ethical vegans in the workplace, provides practical advice and detailed guidance on how to include vegans in diversity policies.”

The Vegan Society’s spokesperson, Matt Turner, said:

“This advice to employers has been produced by the Society’s International Rights Network, which is chaired by our legal expert, Dr Jeanette Rowley, who was involved with the case and gave evidence at the tribunal. It’s important that businesses up and down the country take note of these new guidelines and start to include them in their workplace policies and practices as soon as possible.

This ruling and the protection it confirms for ethical vegans are long overdue. The Vegan Society is happy to support any company that wants to take steps to improve life in the workplace for the hundreds of thousands of vegans in the UK.”

Employers can contact The Vegan Society at info[at]vegansociety[dot]com or on +44 (0)121 523 1730.

For more information

Please contact Matt Turner, Media and PR Officer: 

media[at]vegansociety[dot]com / +44 (0)121 523 1738 (office) 

About The Vegan Society

The Vegan Society is the world’s oldest vegan society whose co-founder Donald Watson defined the term ‘vegan’ in 1944. We are a registered educational charity that provides information and guidance on various aspects of veganism, including to existing and potential vegans, caterers, healthcare professionals, educators and the media. If you are interested in learning more about veganism, download our free VeGuide app now.


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