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Human rights

Fiona Cuming

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

New and updated

  • Human rights

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on Page v NHS Trust Development Authority, in which the EAT considered if art.9 was engaged when a director was suspended after airing his views on same-sex adoption in the media.

  • Cases on appeal

    Type:
    Law reports

    Updated to reflect that the Supreme Court allowed the appeal in Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd.

  • Dismissal for inappropriate religious conversations was fair, rules Court of Appeal

    Date:
    21 May 2019
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Kuteh v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, the Court of Appeal held that the NHS trust fairly dismissed a Christian nurse for initiating inappropriate conversations about religion with patients in breach of a lawful management instruction.

  • Date:
    29 April 2019
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    Even if an employer is confident that theft or other offences are taking place in the workplace there are plenty of factors to consider before surveillance cameras are installed, writes Louise Lawrence, looking at how UK law ties in with European law.

  • Criminal record checks: "Multiple convictions rule" breaches human rights

    Date:
    31 January 2019
    Type:
    Law reports

    In R (on the application of P) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and other appeals, the Supreme Court held that the criminal record checks rule requiring disclosure where a person has more than one conviction, regardless of the circumstances of the offences, is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

  • Date:
    11 January 2019
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    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?

  • Date:
    18 October 2018
    Type:
    Legal guidance

    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.

  • No direct sexual orientation discrimination in Christian bakery's refusal to make "gay cake"

    Date:
    11 October 2018
    Type:
    Law reports

    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.

  • Bakery in 'gay cake' case wins Supreme Court appeal

    Date:
    10 October 2018
    Type:
    News

    The Christian owners of the Northern Irish bakery in the 'gay cake' case have won their appeal at the Supreme Court.

  • Criminal records: disclosure of acquittal did not breach job applicant's human rights

    Date:
    8 August 2018
    Type:
    Law reports

    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.

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to human rights.