The Vegan Society has been pushing for more inclusive workplace policies to be implemented, which would accommodate those who go cruelty-free.
Vegans have called on bosses for a shake-up in the workplace – including separate food areas in office kitchens.
The Vegan Society published new guidelines in a booklet after a judge’s landmark ruling that ethical veganism is protected by law against workplace discrimination.
Vegans believe that animals should not be used for food, clothing or entertainment. There are around 600,000 Britons following the plant-based diet.
The charity’s suggestions include designated food storage areas for vegans, such as a shelf in the fridge above non-vegan foods.
The booklet tells companies: ‘If you have a practice of providing only dairy milk in the kitchen, and you know a vegan has no choice but to bring in their own milk, now would be a good time to adjust this practice so that you are making provisions equally to your non-vegan and vegan employees.’
It recommends that staff have access to vegan-friendly uniform, such as synthetic boots or a non-leather phone case.
They should also be able to opt out of business events such as meals that revolve around animal products – like a ‘hog roast’ barbecue – or trips to horse races.
The guidelines state employers should consider ‘exempting vegans from participating in buying (or signing off on the purchase of) non-vegan products’. The society said bosses can ‘create a positive atmosphere’ by monitoring whether an employee’s ethical vegan stance is the subject of mockery.
It stressed: ‘Fostering a general attitude of respect towards vegan employees is key. If ‘jokes’ made about an employee’s veganism become burdensome, steps should be made to improve this. One way of assessing whether a co-worker has gone too far with comments to or about vegans is to consider what type of conversational behaviour would be deemed offensive to other individuals with protected characteristics, such as those who adhere to certain religious values.’
The court ruling last month said harassing ethical vegans at work is the same as abusing people on the basis of their race or sex. The judgment came after vegan Jordi Casamitjana, 55, alleged he was unfairly dismissed by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his deeply-held convictions, although the League say the circumstances of the dismissal are subject to an employment tribunal.
Employment judge Robin Postle said: ‘It is clearly a view that meets all the requirements of a philosophical belief.’ He added the principles should be protected under the Equality Act 2010.
Original source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/