A judge has ruled an employee’s belief in man-made climate change was akin to religion.

In a landmark ruling on 3 November Judge Michael Burton said that “A belief in man-made climate change …. Is capable of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations”.

The judgement sets a precedent for how environmental beliefs are regarded in law.

The ruling follows the case of Tim Nicholson, former head of sustainability at property firm Grainger who claims he was made redundant due his philosophical belief about climate change. The decision gives him the right to sue his employer for unfair dismissal.

The judgement could see employees taking their companies to court for environmental failings such as a failure to provide recycling facilities. It could also open the door for employees to sue their firms over their stance on other ethical issues such as animal testing.