Judges often interpret the meaning and implications of the Equality Duty. The decisions that judges make become case law.
Grainger plc and others v Nicholson, 2009
In Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) suggests that for a philosophical belief (including, in this case, philosophical belief on climate change) to afford this protection, it must:
= be genuinely held to be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint based on the present state of information available
= be a belief as to a weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behaviour
= attain a certain level of cogency, seriousness, cohesion and importance
= be worthy of respect in a democratic society and not incompatible with human dignity and/or conflict with the fundamental rights of others.
The EAT accepted that although support for a political party would not be considered a philosophical belief, belief in political philosophies such as socialism, Marxism, communism or free-market capitalism might qualify.
A racist or homophobic political philosophy would not qualify as a philosophical belief, as it would not be 'worthy of respect in a democratic society and not incompatible with human dignity'.
The EAT accepted that a philosophical belief could be based entirely on scientific conclusions. The EAT gave the example of Darwinism, which it said 'must plainly be capable of being a philosophical belief'.