18 / 01 / 2010
The NHS Constitution, which came into law as part of the Health Act in November 2009, makes it clear that healthcare and human rights go hand in hand. Human rights legislation presents various workplace implications for employers and these are being enforced through the courts in cases like Kulkarni v Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (2009). The Court of Appeal ruled that NHS doctors and dentists were entitled to legal representation if facing charges, which if proven, could prevent them from practising. Cases like thisare bringing a sharper focus to human rights issues for the NHS.
This Briefing outlines a human rights approach to managing workplace practices, which can not only keep organisations operating within the law, but can help further the reputation of the NHS as a model employer. It shows some of the ways the Human Rights Act could be used to challenge human resource decisions, and provides a useful decision making tool to ensure compliance.