VEgans would be exempted from mandatory workplace Covid vaccinations and employers risk legal action if they insist workers are being double-bitten, experts say.
It is estimated that half a million Britons who do not consume animal products would not have to adhere to so-called ‘jabs for jobs’ rules under employment laws, it has been claimed. .
The Covid vaccine does not contain animal products, but all drugs are currently being tested on animals.
Ethical veganism was ruled as a protected characteristic by a court last year.
This means that any employer would risk legal action if they ordered their staff to be vaccinated.
A spokesperson for Lewis Silkin, a law firm, told the Telegraph: “Some ethical vegans may disagree with vaccinations on the grounds that they will inevitably have been tested on animals.
“Ethical veganism has already proven to be a belief, capable of being protected. “
The protections mean vegans and people in other categories, including certain religious groups as well as those with certain disabilities or health conditions, could file a constructive dismissal complaint if they were forced to get the jab .
The Vegan Society has encouraged people to jab Covid.
“It has never been more important for us to talk about the definition of veganism in the context of drugs, including vaccines,” said a spokesperson.
“The definition of veganism recognizes that it is not always possible or feasible for vegans to avoid participating in the use of animals, which is particularly relevant in medical situations.
“In the case of Covid-19, vaccination will play a fundamental role in fighting the pandemic and saving lives. As there is currently a legal requirement that all vaccines be tested on animals, at present it is not possible to have a vaccine that has been created without the use of animals. “
Clare Chappell, Partner at Peacock & Co, said: “Someone at some point who is anti-vax is going to argue that an anti-vax belief is a philosophical belief.
“I think this will bring a lot of interesting developments in discrimination law over the months and years to come. “