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.


The 10 most important employment law cases in 2019

We round up the most significant cases of the year including legal judgments on CCTV, restrictive covenants, enhancing shared parental leave, collective bargaining and more...

Hotel worker

Hotel sector failing to protect ‘vulnerable workforce’ from modern slavery

22 Nov 2019

Only 18 of 71 global hotel firms operating in the UK have met the minimum requirements of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.

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General election 2019: when politics and work mix

12 Nov 2019

How can employers prevent employees from electioneering at work? Should the workforce be banned from highlighting their political allegiances in...

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FTSE 100 firm faces landmark modern slavery legal challenge

1 Nov 2019

Legal challenge on child labour used on farms in Malawi hangs over British American Tobacco.

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Workers’ rights ‘watered down’ in Johnson’s Brexit deal

18 Oct 2019

The issue of what happens to workers’ rights has become a central plank in the Brexit debate as MPs prepare...

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Spanish supermarket covert surveillance did not violate human rights

17 Oct 2019

The European Court of Human Rights has overturned a previous judgment it made in the case of López Ribalda and...

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Worker exploitation commonplace in supermarket supply chains

10 Oct 2019

Poor pay, exploitative working conditions and human rights abuses are commonplace in the supply chains for major supermarkets

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‘Gay cake’ case referred to European Court

15 Aug 2019

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

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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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