Dorset gardener, fired because of his anti-hunting views, was unfairly dismissed

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The employment tribunal case of Hashman v Milton Park (Dorset) Ltd concerned a Dorset man who was unfairly dismissed from his job at a garden centre because of his anti-hunting principles.

The case dealt with the legal assessment about what can amount to a ‘belief’ under the Equality Act 2010. The provisions make any discrimination in the workplace on grounds of religion or belief unlawful. The definition of ‘belief’ includes any ‘religious or philosophical belief’.

Joe Hashman, from Shaftesbury was fired after he acted as a witness in two hunting prosecutions. The tribunal hearing in Southampton returned a unanimous verdict of unfair dismissal.

Mr Hashman was allowed to take his claim to a full employment tribunal after a judge ruled that his views on fox hunting amounted to a ‘philosophical belief in the sanctity of animal life’ and should therefore be given the same legal treatment as religious beliefs.