Employment Law News

TRIBUNAL RULES THAT STANCE ON SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE IS “PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF” FOR DISCRIMINATION PURPOSES 

An employment tribunal has held that a Councillor’s belief in Scottish Independence can amount to a “philosophical belief” for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. 

SNP leader, Chris McEleny, brought a discrimination case against the Ministry of Defence in 2018 claiming that he had been unfairly targeted due to his views on Scottish Independence. He claimed that he had had his security clearance revoked after national security officials had interviewed him about these views together with his opposition to the Trident nuclear system and his mental health.

In a written statement, the Judge held that Mr McEleny’s situation met the legal requirements to constitute a philosophical belief. The judge was persuaded that the Claimant’s belief that Scotland, rather than any other Country, should be independent was of sufficient weight and importance to human life and behaviour to be philosophical in nature. 

By the same analogy, one could view Brexit as a belief that Britain should be independent of the EU and equally the reverse that Britain should remain in the EU.