Campaigners say vegans should have a separate shelf in office fridge - do you agree?

Employers have been given new guidelines to support vegans in the workplace, including installing a special shelf in the office fridge.

A new booklet, produced by the Vegan Society, suggests that companies should allow vegans to be exempt from corporate events like horse racing or those that revolve around animal products, such as barbecues.

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It also wants employers to offer vegan menus at events and to provide vegan-friendly work wear for those who want it.

Other recommendations include colour-coded kitchen equipment and separate areas to prepare meat-free food, being exempt from any part of purchasing non-vegan goods and the chance for staff to have discussions about vegan-friendly pension options.

Promote positive atmosphere at work

The Vegan Society says these new guidelines have been created to promote a positive atmosphere at work.

"Fostering a general attitude of respect towards vegan employees is key," it writes.

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"If 'jokes' made about an employee's veganism become burdensome, steps should be made to improve this."

There are an estimated 600,000 vegans in the UK.

Vegan Society spokesperson Matt Turner said, “It’s important that businesses up and down the country take note of these new guidelines and start to include them in their workplace policies and practices as soon as possible.”

“This ruling and the protection it confirms for ethical vegans are long overdue. The Vegan Society is happy to support any company that wants to take steps to improve life in the workplace for the hundreds of thousands of vegans in the UK.”

Ethical vegans

The Vegan Society says it wants comments about vegans to be compared to those made about people in religious groups.

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Last month, a UK judge ruled that beliefs of ethical vegans were protected by law and said they deserved similar legal protections as those who hold religious beliefs. Since this ruling, jokes or comments about vegans can be considered harassment in the workplace, under the Equality Act 2010.

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