Guidance on Supporting Veganism in the Workplace
Following the recent preliminary case management decision in Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports, where it was established that “ethical veganism” can (depending on the particular facts) be classed as a protected characteristic, the Vegan Society has issued guidance on how employers can accommodate and support vegan employees’ needs in the workplace.
This guidance ranges from providing vegan-friendly work wear to providing separate shelves in communal fridges.
The options of ways in which a business can make changes to help support vegans are seemingly endless.
Employers do need to be careful not to discriminate by treating a vegan less favourably than other employees as well as preventing bullying and harassment of vegans. However, from a legal perspective, unless the individual is vegan because of a health condition (which could be a disability for the purpose of the Equality Act 2010), there is no duty on an employer to make any adjustments to accommodate vegans. The Vegan Society says that the guidance is intended to help create a respectful attitude towards vegans and therefore make for a more harmonious workplace. We think that this is something that businesses will be adopting and therefore these sorts of practices will become more commonplace.
Businesses should consider updating their Equality & Diversity policy to reflect any practices that they put in place to support vegans in the workplace.
If you have any experiences related to this that you would like to share the team would love to hear from you.