Stephen Adams and Louise Gray
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
An executive has won the right to sue his employer on the basis that he was unfairly dismissed for his green views after a judge ruled that environmentalism had the same weight in law as religious and philosophical beliefs.
In a landmark ruling, Mr Justice Michael Burton said that “a belief in man-made climate change … is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations”.
The ruling could open the door for employees to sue their companies for failing to account for their green lifestyles, such as providing recycling facilities or offering low-carbon travel.
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The decision regards Tim Nicholson, former head of sustainability at property firm Grainger plc, who claims he was made redundant in July 2008 due to his “philosophical belief about climate change and the environment”.
In March, employment judge David Heath gave Mr Nicholson permission to take the firm to tribunal over his treatment.
But Grainger challenged the ruling on the grounds that green views were political and based on science, as opposed to religious or philosophical in nature.
This article was posted: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 10:16 am