Protection for employee with “philosophical” belief in Scottish Independence – will Brexit claims follow?
An employment tribunal has found that a belief in Scottish independence amounts to a “philosophical” belief under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act), affording protection from discrimination relating to that belief (McEleny v MOD).
There is no legislation under English law which protects employees from discrimination based on political opinion, so employees have sought to gain protection for political ideology through the “philosophical belief” protection provided under the Act.
Mr McElney has, since childhood, had a deeply held belief in Scottish independence. He brought an employment tribunal claim alleging he had been treated less favourably by the MOD as a result of this, but as a preliminary issue, the employment tribunal had to determine whether this belief amounted to a “philosophical” belief under the Act.
The tribunal referred back to the test set out in the earlier case of Grainger and found that his belief did amount to a philosophical belief. This was because it was genuinely held, amounted to a “belief” rather than an opinion, related to a “weighty and substantial” aspect of human life, had a level of cogency and is a belief worthy of respect in a democratic society. The case will now proceed to a full hearing of Mr McEleny’s complaints, but what implications could this decision have in the context of the ongoing Brexit debate?
Not all political opinions will amount to a “philosophical belief” as all the Grainger tests must be met, so the individual’s views will be central to any claim. Many remainers and leavers alike hold strong and passionate opinions on whether the UK should be in or out of the European Union. Those who believe they have been treated less favourably at work as a result of those opinions may now seek redress in the tribunal.
Sponsor Licence Compliance: Key considerations & how to be audit ready
Join us for the third in our series of mini webinars on post Brexit immigration about sponsor licence compliance.
The Future of Property Careers
Join to our panel discussion and Q&A with industry leaders on the range of opportunities within the property and construction sector.
New tax on property developers - consultation paper published
The government published a consultation paper on the design of the new residential property developers tax.
Procuring modular housing: Is MMC becoming mainstream?
Is Modern Methods of Construction becoming mainstream? Read what it means for Development and Procurement here.
Dual class share structures: how do they work and what are the pros and cons?
Dual class share structures allow a shareholder, for example the founder, to retain voting control over a company.
Q&A: Talking the telecoms talk
Georgina Muskett and Jonathan Wills answer queries on Electronic Communications Code agreement.
Property Patter: Navigating the complexities of Pharmacy Property
Pharmacy property is a specialist area which contains many traps for the unwary.
COVID-19 Vaccination – can an employer make it compulsory for employees?
We review what legal issues to take into account when considering to make vaccination compulsory as an employer.
Linking ESG and Executive Pay
How does a business go about embedding a focus on strong ESG performance into the structures and culture of its organisation?
National Security and Investment Act granted Royal Assent
The Act establishes a new regime for the review of mergers, acquisitions and other transactions that could threaten national security.
Recent Trends In Firewall Legislation: BVI, Bermuda And Gibraltar
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Waverton on acquisition of Cornerstone Asset Management
Established in July 2010 and with offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Cornerstone offers wealth management and financial planning advice.
What do the new Debt Respite Scheme Regulations mean for Landlords and Tenants?
This will provide legal protection from creditors in the form of either a breathing space or a mental health crisis moratorium.
Risk allocation in commercial leases: the High Court considers rent suspension, insurance and frustration arguments
Read our summary of the full judgement on the latest Covid arrears case.
Charles Russell Speechlys boosts private wealth offering with the hire of an international tax team
Robert Reymond will be joined at the firm by Leigh Nicoll, Emma Tyrrell and Oliver Cooper.
Proposed Takeover Code Amendments – Key Changes
The Consultation Paper has now been followed by a corresponding response paper which made certain modifications to the initial proposals.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Fudco Partnership on sale to Exponent-backed Vibrant Foods
Fudco is a family-owned business selling South Asian ethnic foods in UK and Europe.
Charles Russell Speechlys advises Polar Technology on investment by BGF
Polar Technology Management Group is a holding company for engineering businesses operating at the leading edge of technology.
Electrical safety standards in the private rented sector from 1 April 2021
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector will apply to existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021.
Amelia Goodwin and Georgina O'Sullivan write for Pharmacy Business on managing employee performance
Why contractors should prioritise performance management of employees as a regular feature of their business strategy.