The Solidarity Trade Union has today welcomed an important Employment Tribunal ruling that could set a positive precedent for British National Party members and supporters.
Joe Hashman has won the right to sue for discrimination over allegations that he was sacked when his pro-hunting bosses discovered he was an animal welfare activist. Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham, Dorset tried to get the case thrown out. They claimed his views did not count as philosophical beliefs.
However, Judge Lawerence Guyer dismissed this argument. Pat Harrington of the Nationalist Trade Union Solidarity commented: "There is a trend to protect not just religious beliefs but other serious philosophically based beliefs as well. This is reflected in (but not confined to) The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and subsequent interpretation by the courts. This is very important for members of the British National Party who have been singled out for harassment based on their beliefs.
"I believe that Nationalism would qualify as a serious philosophical belief. Arguments that political beliefs don't count are spurious. Bad employers tempted to discriminate against folk on grounds of belief should remember that there is no limit set for the compensation to be paid if an employer has discriminated under the legislation against a member of staff. They would be well advised not to go there."
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