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 rules on social media use; and deciding who can accompany staff at disciplinary hearings.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

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HR and legal information and guidance relating to human rights.