Do green beliefs carry weight in employment law?Environmental beliefs held by workplace employees should be protected under employment equality laws, a judge has ruled this week – which could see an increase in employment tribunal action being taken over green issues.

At a pre-hearing this week, Mr Justice Michael Burton ruled that green views should be held as philosophical beliefs, as Tim Nicholson, a former executive of the property company Grainger, claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed from his position as head of sustainability in 2008.

Mr Nicholson is taking the firm to an employment tribunal to claim compensation after he was made redundant from the firm over what he states was discrimination over his environmental outlook.

At an appeal hearing, Mr Burton stated: "If a person can establish that he holds a philosophical belief which is based on science as opposed, for example, to religion, then there is no reason to disqualify it from protection."

Commenting on the case, legal expert Peter Mooney, head of consultancy at Employment Law Advisory Services, said it was likely to "open the floodgates" for other employees who felt victimised as a result of their green beliefs to seek action, the Scotsman reports.