Employer's Charter aims to dispel myths about employment law

The Government is concerned that a number of myths and misunderstandings have developed which make employers believe that employment law is biased in favour of employees.

It’s feared these misunderstandings may make some firms reluctant to take on new staff.

Ministers have now produced an Employer’s Charter in an attempt to dispel the myths and put the record straight.

This is the charter as it appears on the Business Link website:

The Employer's Charter

As an employer - as long as you act fairly and reasonably - you are entitled to:

  • ask an employee to take their annual leave at a time that suits your business
  • contact a woman on maternity leave and ask when she plans to return
  • make an employee redundant if your business takes a downward turn
  • ask an employee to take a pay cut
  • withhold pay from an employee when they are on strike
  • ask an employee whether they would be willing to opt-out from the 48 hour limit in the Working Time Regulations
  • reject an employee's request to work flexibly if you have a legitimate business reason
  • talk to your employees about their performance and about how they can improve
  • dismiss an employee for poor performance
  • stop providing work to an agency worker (as long as they are not employed by you)
  • ask an employee about their future career plans, including retirement

The Charter concludes with the statement: “This is intended to help employers understand what they can do in general. Of course, individual circumstances may vary and employers should act in accordance with their legal obligations.”

Please contact us if you would like clarification or more information about the issues raised in the Charter.

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