The Twelve Days of Christmas Day 3: I Believe in Father Christmas…
The issue of philosophical beliefs is one that has hit the headlines a few times this year but what about a belief in Father Christmas? Could a belief that a jolly man in a red suit comes down the chimney to deliver presents be considered a philosophical belief capable of protection under the Equality Act?
For a belief to be a philosophical belief it must:
- Be a genuinely held belief
- Be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour
- Attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance
- Be worthy of respect in a democratic society, not be incompatible with human dignity and not conflict with the fundamental rights of others
- Have a similar status or cogency to a religious belief
It seems unlikely that simply believing in Father Christmas will qualify, but when it comes to philosophical beliefs in the workplace it can be hard for employers to know what would be protected and what would not. Which of the below do you think have been found to be a protected belief under the Equality Act? For the answers, see the bottom of the page.
- A belief that it is wrong to lie under any circumstances.
- A belief that the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks were false flag operations authorised by the US and UK governments, and that the media is controlled by a global elite seeking a new world order.
- A belief that people should pay their respects by wearing a poppy from All Souls’ Day on 2 November to Remembrance Sunday.
- A belief in spiritualism, life after death and the ability of mediums to contact the dead.
- A belief that the UK should not be ruled by a hereditary monarch but should be a democratic and secular republic.
It’s important to remember that the key to avoiding claims involving philosophical belief in your workplace is to ensure that there is goodwill to one and all!
If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd as we are happy to help.