Research and analysis

Employer perceptions and the impact of employment regulation

Research on how employers view, and respond to, the employment regulatory framework. Employment relations research series number 123.


This research explores employers’ perceptions of employment regulation and the impact of employment regulation on business development. In particular it:

  • explores whether employer’s current working practices are influenced by regulation, and the impact this has on business growth and/or HR capacity
  • examines general perceptions employers have about employment regulation to understand
    • whether these perceptions reflect the real impact that regulation has on businesses (the so-called ‘perception reality gap’)
    • how these perceptions arise
  • explores employer perceptions of the value of any information sources that they use

The report:

  • reviews relevant literature to provide context to the research findings
  • describes employers working practices and explores the drivers of these
  • explores beliefs and attitudes concerning employment regulation
  • examines the information sources employers use to learn about employment regulation and their views on these
  • draws together findings

This first part of the research covers the strategies that employers adopt when working within the provisions of current labour market regulation framework, in terms of taking someone on, managing staff, and letting staff go. The second part, not reported here, looks at work-life balance and explores how employers respond to family friendly policies.