The landmark case which enabled an employee to claim his environmental views amounted to a philosophical belief and should be protected has been settled out of court.
Employment lawyers warned the settlement in the Grainger Plc v Nicholson case meant the principle that climate change views could be philosophical beliefs and so protected from discrimination “still stands”, but another case would be needed before employers knew whether staff could be successful in such claims.
Tim Nicholson, who was made redundant from his role as head of sustainability at residential landlord Grainger in 2008, brought a claim for unfair dismissal and discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.
Nicholson told the tribunal he had “a strongly held philosophical belief about climate change and the environment” which brought him into conflict with other senior staff.
Last March, he was given permission to bring a claim under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003, which cover “any religion, religious belief, or philosophical belief”.
Stephen Simpson, employment law editor at XpertHR, said: “The settlement means that we are denied the employment tribunal’s consideration of whether Nicholson’s beliefs were strong enough in this case and, if so, whether he was actually discriminated against because of them. That will have to wait until another environmentalist brings a tribunal claim.”