Human Rights - Employment Law

The relevant sections of the Human Rights Act are:

  •  Article 6, (right to fair trial)
  •  Article 4, (prohibition of slavery or forced labour)
  •  Article 8, (right to privacy)
  •  Article 9, (freedom of thought, conscience and religion)
  •  Article 10, (freedom of expression)
  •  Article 11, (The right to freedom of association, including joining a trade union)
  •  Article 14, (prohibition of discrimination)
Please see section on Civil Proceedings for a discussion on Article 6. The right to join a trade union under Article 11 will be subject to union rules concerning membership. Article 11 also guarantees the negative right not to join a trade union in certain circumstances.
Article 8 may be of importance where employers interfere with communications by staff, such as intercepting telephone calls, email or interfering with internet use.
Also the disclosure of personal information about an employee to third parties without that employee's consent may breach Article 8, particularly if it is confidential medical information.
Article 11 has not so far been interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights, as entitling employees to time off on religious holidays or days of rest, and Article 10 has not been interpreted so far as to give employees the right to wear what they like to work.
Article 14 provides that Convention rights must be protected without discrimination on any grounds such as, sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status. Disability as well as sexual orientation and mental status is thought to fall under "other status".
Any person wishing to rely on any of the Convention rights should include express reference to the Human Rights Act and the relevant Article in their ET1 form, (Application to an Employment Tribunal) or Claim Form to the County Court.