The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their religious or philosophical beliefs.
Religion includes ‘any religion of sufficient seriousness with a clear structure and belief system,’ including religious denominations. It also includes a lack of religion.
A philosophical belief is a bit harder to define. The court will consider whether the belief is:
more than just an opinion or viewpoint
affects how the individual lives their life
about a substantial aspect of human life and behaviour
worthy of respect. A belief that is incompatible with the fundamental rights of others will not be protected
The tribunal is not concerned with the scientific or logical basis of the belief.
If there has not been a previous case about your specific religious or philosophical belief, there may be valid arguments on both sides as to whether the belief should fall under the Equality Act. In these cases, legal advice can be valuable in helping you to argue why your philosophical belief should be protected under the Equality Act.
Once it is established that your religion or belief is protected under the Equality Act, you will need to show that your employer’s behaviour was discriminatory and was based on your belief, if you wish to make a claim.