Fear of catching coronavirus not protected belief, tribunal rules

Fear of catching coronavirus not protected belief, tribunal rules

A concern of catching coronavirus is not a protected perception beneath the Equality Act 2010, an employment tribunal decide has dominated. An unnamed girl introduced proceedings towards her employer for alleged illegal discrimination after she took the choice not to return to the office final July.

In her assertion to the tribunal, the girl – recognized solely as X – stated she had ‘reasonable and justifiable health and safety concerns about the workplace surrounding Covid-19’, specifically about passing the virus on to her accomplice who she stated was ‘at high risk of getting seriously unwell from Covid-19’.

Her employer then stated they’d not pay X, a call she claimed constituted ‘discrimination on the grounds of this belief in regard to coronavirus and the danger from it to public health’.

Nevertheless, in X v Y, the tribunal did not settle for that ‘the claimant’s concern of contracting Covid-19 quantities to a perception’ which will be protected by part 10(2) of the 2010 act. Choose Mark Leach held that X’s concern ‘is a reaction to a threat of physical harm and the need to take steps to avoid or reduce that threat’.

‘Most (if not all) people, instinctively react to perceived or real threats of physical harm in one way or another,’ the decide stated. ‘It will also be described as a extensively held opinion primarily based on the current state of info obtainable that taking sure steps, for instance attending a crowded place through the peak of the present pandemic, would improve the chance of contracting Covid-19 and will due to this fact be harmful.

‘Few people may argue against that. However, a fear of physical harm and views about how best to reduce or avoid a risk of physical harm is not a belief for the purposes of section 10.’

Leach accepted that the claimant’s perception was cogent and it was not disputed that it was ‘worthy of respect in a democratic society’. Nevertheless, he dominated that X’s perception did not meet the 5 standards for a protected ‘philosophical belief’ set out by the Employment Attraction Tribunal in Grainger Plc and others v Nicholson.

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