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Lack of belief in the Black Lives Matter movement was not protected under the Equality Act

In the recent case of Mr Charalambous -V-Barnsley College 1802552/2021 an Employment Tribunal has considered whether or not a lack of belief in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement was protected by the Equality Act 2010. 

In addition, the Tribunal considered whether the Claimant’s belief that schools should not support BLM was protected by the Equality Act 2010.

Which beliefs are protected by the Equality Act 2010?

It is prohibited for an employer to treat an employee less favourably because they hold a religious or philosophical belief or because they lack a particular belief. 

The Employment Tribunal had thus accepted in principle that a lack of belief in the BLM movement was genuine and broadly fit the criteria for protection under the Equality Act 2010 except in one respect- namely that it lacked, “cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance.” 

The Tribunal found that, based on the evidence available to it, the BLM movement itself encompasses a wide variety of opinions, “concerning the question of racism and how it should be tackled.” 

The Tribunal thus found that belief in the BLM movement was not sufficiently cogent or coherent to obtain protection under the Equality Act 2010. It followed that lack of belief in the BLM movement was not protected either. 

The belief that schools should not support or promote the BLM movement did not obtain protection for the same reason.  

How can Cartwright King help with any employment issues?

The case outlined above shows the potential claims that employers may be open to and the importance of obtaining high-quality representation. 

Here at Cartwright King, we provide a high-quality service with transparent and flexible pricing options. Our aim is to prevent Employment Tribunal claims from arising in the first place. 

Discover more about our dedicated service for employers here: https://cartwrightking.co.uk/employment-law/hr-support-business-legal-advice/

Legal Disclaimer.

All advice is correct at time of publication.