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Issue 33 Print 72dpi

NHS Job Advertisement Discriminates Against Vegans

The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has changed a job advertisement which initially discriminated against vegan applications after The Vegan Society and The International Vegan Rights Alliance (IVRA) challenged the Trust.

The job advertisement, for an Occupational Therapist (OT) in an Eating Disorders Service, said: “Unfortunately OTs with vegan diets cannot be considered.”

Amanda Baker, Senior Advocacy and Policy Officer at The Vegan Society, said:  “As vegans in Great Britain, we have the right to fair treatment in employment under The Equality Act (2010). All our moral rights to fair treatment are codified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Jeanette Rowley, founding member of the IVRA, and the Vegan Society wrote to the NHS Trust to inform them that veganism is a protected ethical orientation and that the Trust cannot legally discriminate against vegans. As a result, the job advertisement has been altered and the discriminatory statement removed.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: “We’re sorry for the offence we caused and yes we did speedily change the advert.

“We welcome anyone of any belief applying for any job in our eating disorders service as long as they can fulfil the specific requirements of that job; in this case it includes modelling eating a broad range of foods patients might perceive as risky.

“This requirement was wrongly summarised as about the person applying and not the clinical requirement of the job and we apologise for that.

“The Eating Disorders Service is a great place to work and provides an excellent service because it has excellent people working there, from a broad range of backgrounds and beliefs, and that’s a strength.”

Amanda Baker said: “We are delighted that the Trust concerned has revised the job advertisement. We hope that qualified vegans now feel able to apply, and will be considered fairly.”

If you find discrimination against vegans, please take a screenshot of it and get in touch with The Vegan Society at 0121 523 1730 or info@vegansociety.com.

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