Human rights and employment rights

A free event by the IER

21st July 2021 – 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

About this event

Human rights and the right to privacy have been contentious issues in recent times. With employers often taking advantage of weak laws to intrude further in to the personal lives of workers in order to squeeze more out of them and artificially boost productivity, little or no thought is given to whether this is sustainable for the worker, their lifestyle, or their mental health. This situation was made worse by the social media explosion over the last decade, as it gave bad employers further ammunition to punish workers in the form of personal data posted publicly, which has been used by numerous employers to screen staff at recruitment stages, as well as monitor and discipline staff. With many workers now working from home due to the pandemic, the issues of privacy and work have again come to the foreground, this time because we have a human right to privacy within our home. Despite this right, many employers have been potentially illegally monitoring workers through keystroke logging software, instant messaging applications that show when you are away from your desk, camera/audio monitoring, and many more. With these issues still in flux, it remains to be seen how this issue will be resolved. One potential solution is for strong trade unions to negotiate good home working practices with employers. Other more broad implications for human rights arise out of potential infringements on human rights through exploitative clauses in trade deals.


Join us to discuss these problems and potential solutions.


The event will be chaired by our Director Carolyn Jones.

Dr Philippa Collins, University of Bristol will be discussing The Human Right to privacy and the future of work.

Professor Keith Ewing, IER President will be talking on Trade & Cooperation agreement & future of labour law.

Josie Irwin, UNISON National Womens Officer is going to talk on Women, equality and working from home: Bargaining for the best homeworking arrangements.

Download event documents