Modern Employment Laws and Post Modern Globalization
Convincingly enough, industrial relations and labour laws and/ or regulations have been involved in tussles and crisis that have witnessed the evolution of legal interventions in industrial relations. the modern employment law or rather industrial relations as is otherwise referred to has been a symbiotic one that has evolved with influence from economic integrations, social security, policies and movements, market competition as well as taxation law just to mention a few. for instance the participation of women in the labour force and the civil rights movement in having labour laws that protect them against discriminatory practices in the labour market by the employers and laws against sexual harassment at work place is an evidence of legal intervention in the development of the industrial relations. there are critics who warn of the legal intervention in the industrial relations as it is capable of creating constraints that are unfair to the labour market and unemployment and thus if allowed to go it may never survive the post globalization period/era. they advocate that new strategies must be exploited in an effort to combat any future challenges. (Conaghan et al, 2002 p1)
One of the principles labour law was set out to achieve was to the dependent relationship between the employer and the employee in the industrial relations although this degree of subordination was not so foreign as was provided for by common law though the definition under the labour law was/ is different. in common law, the degree of control, integration and economic reality are tested to determine the employee status in the employment relation whilst in labour laws, employer-employee relation dependent relationship is viewed from the confidence and trust bestowed upon the employee and the prerogative orders of the employer, employees protection against harm while at work by the employer, (it has evolved to what is now referred to as the occupational safety and health at work place laws), protection against economic risks as well as remedies for it for instance, payment while on leave (sick leave, maternity leave just to mention a few). dismissal and/ or employment termination procedures and severance payment package are also features of the economic risks. thus it can be concluded that this modern law concept has covered the interdisciplinary relationships of labour with the social security law and taxation law. the evolution of this relationship undoubtedly was one dogged with a lot of controversies since most of the employees at the industrialization period were on wages and there existed not contract of employment (employees were referred to as labourers and servants and the legislation at the time only stipulated that they be treated with care) as well as capitalism as a form of economy. the predominant legislation during the industrial revolution in Britain was the Artificers statute which contained non-competitive laws such as fixing of wages and apprenticeship regulations. the controversies did not end with this statute but also the treatment of breach of service which was declared by the Master and Servant Act as a criminal offense which resulted in numerous servants being jailed every year or imprisoned and only clerical, managerial and professional workers were protected by the courts by invoking an implied contract of employment in deciding instances of dismissal and wages due.(Deakins & Njoya)
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