Workers’ rights v Employers’ Charter: What now for employment law?

Workers’ rights v employers’ charter: What now for employment law? A one-day conference MONDAY 16th May 2011 9:30AM to 4:15PM, NUT Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, LONDON WC1H 9BD Book and pay for your place now

16th May 2011 – 12:00 am

Workers’ rights v employers’ charter: What now for employment law?
A one-day conference
MONDAY 16th May 2011
9:30AM to 4:15PM, NUT Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, LONDON WC1H 9BD

  1. Book and pay for your place now

In February, Business Secretary Vince Cable, announced an Employers’ Charter outlining the most important rights that employers already have in the workplace and announcing how he intends to swing the scales of justice still further in favour of bosses.

While Vince Cable and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills state that The Employer’s Charter “aims to dismiss some of the myths about what employers can and can’t do in managing their workforce”, the IER has organised this conference to highlight the reality of the limited rights available to workers. Again, we need to bust the myth that employment law favours workers at the expense of jobs and bosses.

The UK currently breaches a majority of the obligations of the Council of Europe Social Rights Committee, designed to provide minimum protection for workers. Of 16 obligations relating to the right to just conditions of work, the right to safe and healthy working conditions, the right to a decent wage, the right to freedom of association, and the right to bargain collectively, the UK was found to be in breach of 13 obligations.

This conference will focus on the important employment law issues facing trade unions now: the controversial BIS dispute resolution consultation; privatisation and how it is affecting employment; and future prospects. Academics in labour law will be joined by lawyers and speakers from the TUC and many of the unions facing hostile employers many of whom will be emboldened by Cable’s statement.

Join us for this important conference as we provide a critical resistance to the government’s employment law plans and reassert international obligations.


  • 9:30 Registration
  • 9:50 Introduction from Chair: Carolyn Jones, IER
  • 10:00 What’s wrong with an employers’ charter?
    Prof Keith Ewing, President IER
  • 10:30 Public Sector reform I: Privatisation and the NHS
    Adam Creme, Unison
  • 11:00 Neoliberalism and UKplc: what awaits UK workers?
    Paul Smith
  • 11:30 Tea and coffee
  • 11:45 Employment law & the Condems: The beginning of the end for justice for workers?
    Gregor Gall
  • 12:15 Discussion
  • 12:30 LUNCH (not provided)
  • 1:30 Public Sector reform II: Privatisation and the civil service
    Phil Madelin PCS
  • 2:00 Keeping the post public and employment law
    Tony Kearns CWU
  • 2:30 BIS Consultation
    Steve Cottingham, O H Parsons
  • 3:00 Tea and coffee
  • 3:15 Perspectives from the TUC
    Hannah Reed
  • 3.45 Panel discussion and questions
  • 4:15 Close

Who should attend

The conference will be of great interest to trade unionists, employment lawyers, personnel specialists, academics, students, and those concerned with the development of public policy.

How to book

  1. Ring us on 0151 207 5265 with a credit or debit card.
  1. Book and pay for your place now
  1. Download an emailable booking form Here and email to or fax to 0151 207 5264
  1. Send your cheque, made payable to IER, to Institute of Employment Rights, 50-54 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SD.


IER subscribers and members £75.00
Trade unions £90.00
Commercial £220.00

CPD, NPP and EPP accreditation

This conference counts for credit hours under the Law Society’s Continuing Development Scheme and the General Council of the Bar’s New Practitioners’ Programme and Established Practitioners’ Programme.

How to get there

Train and tube: King’s Cross, St Pancras and Euston.

Additional Information

Details of nearby hotels are available from the office. Name changes are accepted up until the time of the event. Delegates who advise IER of their cancellation more than 15 working days in advance will receive a credit note with 10% deduction for administration.