A UK employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” under discrimination law. The ruling was made in a case brought by a vegan Jordi Casamitjana against his former employer League Against Cruel Sports. Mr Casamitjana claimed he was dismissed because of his ethical veganism. "Religion or belief" is one of nine "protected characteristics" covered by the Equality Act 2010.
Whilst a judgment of the first instance employment tribunal, this case is likely to have wide implications.
Under the GDPR ‘philosophical beliefs’ is one of the ‘special categories of personal data’ which need more protection due to their sensitivity. Businesses have to take additional steps when processing special categories of personal data to provide such protection including needing a condition under Article 9 of the GDPR to process the data as well as a lawful basis under Article 6 of the GDPR.
In light of the employment tribunal ruling it would be prudent for businesses to treat data revealing that someone is an ethical vegan as special category personal data.