Employment News Update: Wasting state money comes up for assessment in discrimination tribunal

In Harron v Chief Constable of Dorset Police, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that an employment tribunal had not adopted the correct approach in deciding whether a belief in ‘the proper and efficient use of public money in the public sector’ was a philosophical belief protected by the Equality Act 2010.

Makbool Javaid, Partner and Head of Employment Law, describes how the employment tribunal erred in its approach to determining whether or not a philosophical belief qualifies for protection. A tribunal cannot simply set out the wording of the five defining criteria provided by another division of the EAT in Grainger v Nicholson and then make a broad statement as to whether the criteria have been met.

Makbool explains that when tribunals, or employers, are confronted with a claim that discrimination has occurred because of a philosophical belief, establishing whether that belief is protected is not a tick box exercise against the Grainger criteria. A decision has to set out reasons why each criterion has, or has not, been met, while taking into account that that individuals holding such beliefs cannot always be expected to express themselves with simplicity or precision.

This article first appeared on the CIPD’s People Management HR Inform website

Link for CIPD members

Link to PDF version: Harron v Chief Constable of Dorset Police