Page last updated at 16:12 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Eco-manager 'unfairly dismissed'

Tim Nicholson
Tim Nicholson now works for the Campaign for Green Healthcare

An environmental campaigner who claimed he was sacked because of his views on climate change says he is pleased he can pursue a case for unfair dismissal.

Tim Nicholson, 41, was made redundant from his job as head of sustainability at Grainger Plc in July 2008.

He said his belief in climate change had put him at odds with other senior staff and contributed to his sacking.

A judge has ruled Mr Nicholson can use employment equality laws to make a claim for unfair dismissal.

I hope this sets a precedent that will support anyone who shares my views on climate change
Tim Nicholson

Mr Nicholson joined Grainger Plc in 2006 as a development surveyor working at its offices in Milton Park, Didcot.

But he later changed roles and was head of sustainability, based in Knightsbridge, when he was made redundant.

As part of his evidence to the hearing, in a written statement, he said he had tried to set up a carbon management system for the company, but was unable to work out its carbon footprint, because staff had refused to give him the necessary data.

Mr Nicholson said: "I am going to pursue this at a tribunal.

"I hope this sets a precedent that will support anyone who shares my views on climate change and the environment."

The company argued Mr Nicholson's views were based on science and did not constitute a philosophical belief which is permitted under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.

A spokesman for Grainger Plc, based in Newcastle and one of the UK's biggest residential landlords, said the company was considering its response to the tribunal's pre-trial review hearing decision.

They said: "We absolutely reject any suggestion that Tim Nicholson's redundancy was based on anything other than the operational needs of the company during a period of extraordinary market turbulence."

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