The Employer’s Charter unveiled by government

The government has unveiled the Employer’s Charter, a guidance document to advise employers on how to manage staff “reasonably, fairly and lawfully”.

The Employer’s Charter also aims to give employers greater certainty on what steps they can take when handling workplace isues, and covers a range of employment law scenarios. The Employer’s Charter also dispels a lot of the myths surrounding employment law.

As well as the Employer’s Charter, the government has today announced reforms to the employment tribunal system.

“Today’s announcements on reforms to employment law are among the first conclusions of our government-wide growth review, and highlight our determination to ensure that employment law is no longer seen as a barrier to growth, while making sure that employees and employers are treated fairly,” says prime minister David Cameron.

“Giving businesses the confidence to take on somebody new will be a real boost to the economy, and help generate the sustainable growth we need.”

Here is the full text of the Employer’s Charter:

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 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.
You can also download a PDF of the Employer’s Charter below.

Download the Employer’s Charter here (PDF, 40 KB)

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