In Grainger plc and others v Nicholson, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employee’s belief in man-made climate change, together with the alleged moral imperatives that entails, is capable of being a ‘philosophical belief’ for the purposes of discrimination law.
The claimant, Tim Nicholson, was head of sustainability at property investment company Grainger plc until he was made redundant last year. He is claiming that his strong environmental principles put him at odds with other managers, prompting his dismissal. An employment tribunal decided that his case could be considered under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, because it was based on a ‘philosophical belief’. The EAT has now upheld the ruling, rejecting the company’s contention that environmental views were political and a ‘lifestyle choice’ that could not be compared to religion or philosophy. Unless there is a further appeal to the Court of Appeal, Mr Nicholson’s claim will now proceed to be heard on its merits.