Prime Minister lays out employer's rights

The Employer's Charter comes hand-in-hand with a proposal to extend the period of time an employee has to be working at a company before being allowed to make an unfair dismissal claim from one year to two. (Tribunal proceedings cost an average £4,000.)

The Prime Minister was quick to cite deficit-reducing cuts, the UK being 'on course for the lowest corporation tax in the G7', and the government's rule that any new business law or rule can only come in at the expense of an old one.

The PM enthused: "For all the column inches written about it in our newspapers and words spoken by economists, there's really no mystery about what drives economic growth and creates jobs. It is business and enterprise - these are the engines of our economy."

Of course, the words of politicians must always come with a handful or two of salt. But we like optimism here at Smarta - so let's hope the Prime Minister keeps his promises to help businesses.

Here's the Employer's Charter in full, laying out what rights business owners already have when it comes to dealing with staff and keeping their operations flexible:

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.

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