Editor's message: The Human Rights Act 1998 gives further effect to the rights and freedoms guaranteed to everyone, including workers, under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The key human rights that have an impact on the employment relationship are the rights to: respect for private and family life; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly and association; and the prohibition of discrimination.
The domestic courts and tribunals have considered the effect of workers' human rights in several employment areas, including the interception and recording of private emails and telephone calls; surveillance; the use of social media in the workplace; and representation at disciplinary hearings.
It is important to consider such rights and freedoms when you are, for example, monitoring employees’ use of email and internet; installing CCTV; setting rule on social media use; and deciding who can accompany staff at disciplinary hearings.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
As always, HR professionals had their fair share of employment law cases to keep track of in 2018, but what were the 10 most important judgments in 2018 that every employer should know about?
Updated to reflect that the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal in Uber BV and others v Aslam and others on 19 December 2018.
It is the case which has captivated the nation almost as much as the Great British Bake-Off. Tom Long looks at what last week's Supreme Court ruling in Lee v Ashers Baking Company means for UK employers.
In Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd and others, the Supreme Court held that a Christian bakery did not commit direct sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods and services when it refused to fulfil a cake order with a message in support of same-sex marriage.
The Christian owners of the Northern Irish bakery in the 'gay cake' case have won their appeal at the Supreme Court.
Two-thirds of workers fear that workplace surveillance fuels distrust and could be used in a discriminatory way if left unregulated, prompting a call for new protections to prevent excessive or intrusive monitoring by employers.
Updated to include information on R (on the application of AR) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and another, in which the Supreme Court held that, although the disclosure of the job applicant's acquittal for rape was an interference with his human rights, it was justified.
In R (on the application of AR) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and another, the Supreme Court held that, although the disclosure of the appellant's acquittal for rape was an interference with his human rights, it was justified. However, the Court expressed concern at the lack of guidance for employers on how to deal with disclosures of serious criminal charges that result in acquittals.
In López Ribalda and others v Spain, the European Court of Human Rights held that Spanish shop workers' right to privacy was violated when a supermarket installed hidden cameras without their knowledge to monitor employee thefts.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to human rights.