Mail Online reports Alex Monaco on vegan discrimination at work

    The Mail Online features our own Alex Monaco on vegan discrimination at work. June 2019:


    Vegans should be exempt from making the tea at work because it is discrimination to force them to handle cow’s milk, lawyer says

    • Lawyer Alex Monaco says vegans should be exempt from making tea at work
    • He claims forcing vegans to handle cow’s milk is a form of discrimination
    • There are calls to ‘outlaw vegan discrimination at work’ under the Equality Act ‘


    By Eleanor Haywar for Mailonline

    ‘Vegans should be exempt from making the tea at work because forcing them to handle cow’s milk is discrimination, a senior lawyer claims.

    ‘Campaigners are calling for a change in equality law to ‘outlaw vegan discrimination at work’. They say veganism is a belief tantamount to religion and should be recognized as a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act 2010. ‘This would mean workplaces must allow vegan employees to opt-out of tea rounds and provide vegan options in canteens.

    ‘Lawyer Alex Monaco from law firm Monaco Solicitors, claims Vegans should be exempt from making the tea at work because forcing them to handle cow’s milk is discrimination.

    ‘Alex said: ‘If you were Jewish or Muslim and told to get a round of bacon sandwiches in, no one would bat an eyelid if you refused. But if you’re vegan and refused to buy a pint of milk to make tea because you believe
    the dairy industry is torturing cows, then you would be laughed out of the kitchen.

    ‘Many vegans go to the work canteen and find there is nothing there to eat which is plant-based. Or there will be a lunch meeting but none of the sandwiches are vegan.’

    ‘Mr. Monaco, who is a vegan himself, added: ‘Employers should have a duty to ensure vegans are protected at work and are offered options.  The ultimate aim is to get the law changed so that the Equality Act includes vegans. He is offering free consultations to all vegans who believe they have been discriminated against at work because of their beliefs.

    The Vegan Society estimates that the numbers of vegans, who eat a plant-based diet, has quadrupled in the UK over the last four years from 150,000 to 600,000.

    ‘Religion or belief’ is one of nine protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010. Others include age, disability, race, and sexual orientation. It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate directly, by treating an employee less favourably than others because of their religion or belief.

    ‘In recent months vegans have led a string of high-profile protests calling for an end to animal products. This included storming into a branch of Waitrose full of Christmas shoppers-telling customers that by getting turkeys they were ‘buying death for a cruel tradition’.’

    Read the article in full