Human rights

European human rights laws are enshrined in the UK via the Human Rights Act 1998, which implements the European Convention on Human Rights.

Human rights principles of particular importance for employers include the right to: a fair and public hearing; peaceful enjoyment of possessions; freedom of assembly and association; prohibition of slavery and forced labour; freedom of expression; respect for private and family life; and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Human rights have been especially relevant to employment cases involving disciplinary hearings (particularly the right to be accompanied); trade union activities; religious discrimination; and monitoring of employees.


‘Gay cake’ case referred to European Court

The case involving a Northern Irish bakery that refused to make a cake with a message supporting gay marriage will...

Christian doctor ‘chose’ to leave his job over trans pronoun row

12 Jul 2019

Dr David Mackereth, the Christian doctor who claims he was dismissed for refusing to use transgender pronouns, chose to leave...

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Proselytising Christian nurse loses second appeal against dismissal

14 May 2019

A nurse in Kent dismissed for “preaching” to patients has lost a second appeal against an employment tribunal ruling that...

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How to take precautions to avoid a toxic work environment

20 Feb 2019

Independent investigations into misconduct at both Amnesty International and Oxfam suggest that toxic workplace cultures can have serious consequences. What...

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Supreme Court rejects government appeal on criminal record checks

30 Jan 2019

The Supreme Court has rejected a government appeal against a human rights ruling won by a group of people who...

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Apple launches scheme to help human trafficking victims get jobs

15 Nov 2018

Apple plans to help human trafficking victims get jobs at its stores, after partnering with NGO the International Organization for...

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What employers need to know following the ‘gay cake’ ruling

18 Oct 2018

It is the case which has captivated the nation almost as much as the Great British Bake-Off. Tom Long looks...

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Bakery in ‘gay cake’ case wins Supreme Court appeal

10 Oct 2018

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

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Joint employer concept to be tested in High Court

7 Aug 2018

In a case that could open the door for more than 3 million outsourced workers to negotiate directly with their...

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The 10 most important employment law cases in 2017

13 Dec 2017

The last year has been a very significant one for employment case law. Stephen Simpson counts down the 10 most...

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email monitoring

ECHR judgment and the tricky issue of email monitoring: What now for employers?

13 Sep 2017

How should employers adapt their policies on monitoring employees’ use of email or other company systems in the wake of...

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Worker whose messages were monitored had human rights breached

5 Sep 2017

Employers should make employees aware of any monitoring of their...

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Microchipping workers: What are the moral, practical and legal implications?

22 Aug 2017

Three Square Market, a Wisconsin-based tech company, recently became one of the first in the world to microchip staff. David...

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Court victory expands collective consultation rights, claims Unison

2 Aug 2017

A Court of Appeal decision “makes it much harder for employers to ignore staff when making major changes in the...

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Six important employment law cases in 2017

28 Jul 2017

The decision by the Supreme Court that the employment tribunal fees system is unlawful may be one of the most...

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