What are the implications of art.10 of the European Convention on Human Rights: the right to freedom of expression?
Article 10 of the Convention reads: "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression." People at work have the right to express their views without running the risk of being dismissed, disciplined or victimised. However, this right is subject to important restrictions. A distinction must be drawn between expressing an opinion and disrupting the workplace or creating an unhealthy atmosphere by making rude, offensive, racist, sexist, slanderous or damaging remarks or gestures to co-workers, clients, customers or members of the public. Workers who persist with such conduct are liable to be dismissed and are unlikely to receive sympathy from an employment tribunal or court, notwithstanding art.10.