'Left-wing democratic socialism' can be a philosophical belief under the Equality Act

In the recent case of GMB v Henderson the EAT considered whether an employee's 'left wing democratic socialism' constituted a philosophical belief and whether the employer's treatment of the employee amounted to harassment.

Keith Henderson was employed as a regional organiser in the General Municipal Boilermakers (GMB) trade union. His job involved undertaking political work as part of the region's political efforts on behalf of the Labour party.

He was dismissed from his job for gross misconduct following a series of incidents. One of the incidents involved Mr Henderson being tasked with mounting a picket line at the House of Commons that tried to stop Labour MPs crossing. Mr Henderson also wrote a “day of action” letter and publicised the picket line in the media stating that GMB members were “low-paid workers demanding their right to a decent pension”.

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Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.