JEAIL > Volume 15(2); 2022 > East Asian Observer
Research Paper
Published online: Nov. 30, 2022

Modern Approach to the Employer’s Unilateral Promises: A Comparative Analysis

Muayad Kamal Hattab
An-Najah National University
Room 6031, Dean of Law College Office, Faculty of Law, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine, P.O. Box: 7.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( University Law School, 100 Inharo, Michuhol-gu, Incheon 22212 Korea. / nses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The article provides a comparative analysis to modern employment contract formation. It focuses on promises made unilaterally by an employer to its employees in formal statements such as manuals and handbooks, and argues that such promises, once capable of conferring entitlement, must be protected and employers must not treat them as illusory. It further argues that while under English law an employer would be in breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence if a decision to withdraw from discretionary promises was irrational or disproportionate; in the United States, an employer’s irrational or disproportionate withdrawal from discretionary promises could be regarded as a breach of the duty of good faith. Either approach can be internationally or globally adopted to ensure a fair balance between protecting business efficiency and respecting employees’ dignity.

Keywords : Employment Policies, Unilateral Rights, Good Faith, Trust and Confidence, Contract Formation

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