A journalist's belief in "higher purpose" of public service broadcasting. A violinist's humanist beliefs. A belief in the importance of tackling climate change. An ex-serviceman's belief in importance of wearing poppy in November. Beliefs about government conspiracies behind the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks. And now a salesperson's belief of the importance of not lying to customers to make a sale. We round up the eclectic list of beliefs that claimants have argued before tribunals constitute "philosophical beliefs" under equality legislation.
FOUND TO BE "PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEFS"
Christian telesales agent alleges dismissal for refusal to lie to customers
Hawkins v Universal Utilities Ltd t/a Unicom
This employment tribunal held that a Christian telesales agent's belief that potential customers should not be deceived to obtain sales could be protected under the Equality Act 2010. However, the claimant lost his case because he did not present sufficient evidence that his former employer had required him to lie to potential customers.
Violinist who criticised concert in newspaper not directly discriminated against because of "humanist" beliefs
Streatfeild v London Philharmonic Orchestra Ltd
An employment judge has struck out as having "no reasonable prospect of success" the claim of direct religion or belief discrimination brought by a violinist whose name was on a letter published in the Independent newspaper protesting against an invitation to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to perform at the 2011 Proms. However, the tribunal did conclude that humanism meets all of the criteria to be a philosophical belief.
Journalist's belief in "higher purpose" of public service broadcasting is philosophical belief
Maistry v BBC
An employment tribunal has held that a former BBC employee's belief that "public service broadcasting has the higher purpose of promoting cultural interchange and social cohesion" is a philosophical belief for the purposes of discrimination legislation.
Asserted belief about climate change capable of protection as "philosophical belief"
Nicholson v Grainger plc
An employment tribunal found that an employee's belief that "mankind is heading towards catastrophic climate change and therefore we are all under a moral duty to lead our lives in a manner which mitigates or avoids this catastrophe for the benefit of future generations, and to persuade others to do the same" is capable of being a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. The case went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which set out the test for tribunals to follow when deciding whether or not a belief constitutes a "philosophical belief" under equality legislation.