Readers will be aware of the impact of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 which, as amended, appears to protect a philosophical belief in the importance of combatting climate change, within the context of an employment relationship.
There is a helpful casenote on the judgement, written by Makbool Javaid, head of employment law at Simons Muirhead and Burton. Makbool explains:
A philosophical belief must have a similar status to a religious belief, but does not have to be shared by others or be a fully-developed system of thought that governs the whole of a person’s life. The EAT added that while a belief in a political philosophy or doctrine – such as socialism, Marxism, communism or capitalism – could qualify, protection would not be given to homophobic or racist political philosophies as these would not meet the criterion of being “worthy of respect in a democratic society”.
This is great news for environmentalists.
It is bad news for supporters of Al Muhajiroun, however, who would fail that test.
Makbool Javaid’s name also appeared – in February 1998 – on a fatwa declaring jihad – by all means including military – against the UK and the US. That sort of belief, however heartfelt, is also unlikely to be protected under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.