Around 45% of vegans in the UK felt discriminated at work, even by their employers, says new study.
The study, which was conducted by Crossland Employment Solicitors law firm, found that almost half (45%) of the 1,000 vegan employees questioned about their workplace experiences admitted that they felt discriminated against by employers.
Additionally, almost a third (31%) felt harassed or unfairly treated at work due to being vegan.
“Our research shows that prejudiced attitudes towards vegan workers is endemic among British employers and a lack of understanding as to the potential impact of the Equality Act 2010,” Beverley Sunderland, managing director at Crossland Employments Solicitors, told Vegan Food and Living.
Sunderland explained that the vegan lifestyle must be respected at work as it is “cogent, serious, and applies to an important aspect of human life or behavior.”
She added: “For example, case law has already decided that belief in man-made climate change is a philosophical belief and there is little doubt that veganism will be considered also when it comes before the Tribunal later this year in the case Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports.”
The study also questioned 1,000 employers and found that almost half (48%) do not bother accommodating vegans.
Around 3% even admitted that they would not hire vegans, which Crossland Employment Solicitors pointed out to be against the UK’s Equality Act 2010.
Moreover, 24% of employers believe that most people only go vegan to lose weight or look good, while 30% said that accommodating vegans is expensive or difficult.
“We’d advise that employers need to be taking such beliefs seriously and acting against those who are derogatory about vegans,” said Sunderland.
“After all, if an employee was mocking someone’s religion, their sex or their race, an employer would not hesitate to take serious action.”