Employment law, also referred to as labour law relates to the relationship between employees, employers, Government and the trade unions. It also pertains to the tripartite association between the workers, employers and unions. Employment law covers a broad spectrum of working conditions and is based on minimum acceptable standards of a workplace environment that an employee or contractor can safely work in.
The origins of employment laws can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution. As small scale industries became large factories and production centres, workers sought a change in working conditions for the better. Thus it can be said that the evolution of the modern labour law is a result of prolonged struggle by workers of that time against set social forces prevailing then. The foundation of the modern form of labour laws were laid in the late 18th till mid 19th centuries when regulated working condition laws were passed by acts of Parliament into specific legislation. Since Britain was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, the present avatar of Employment laws can be said to have emanated from that country.
The first efforts at regulating working conditions were primarily aimed to limit the use of child labour. Subsequent legislation in 1850 made reporting of fatal accidents compulsory and health safeguards for miners were put in place by 1855. By the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century, similar laws had been implemented in almost all developing and industrialized nations of the world.
However, there are no standardised employment laws around the world and different countries have their own employment laws that are suitable for them. For example working hours in developed nations are very strictly regulated with stringent payment structures for each hour worked. In developing and third world countries, per hour rates are not that prevalent, giving way to monthly payments. Additionally, these countries have a big unorganised work sector where employment laws are not implemented very rigidly.
Businesses will do well to find out the employment laws currently applicable. For example, a business owner in Victoria, Australia should contact employment lawyers in Melbourne for applicable employment laws. Similarly, employees who have a grievance against the employers and have been unfairly treated should get in touch with unfair dismissal lawyers for redress of their complaints in a court of law.
In such cases, both employers and employees can seek assistance from PB Lawyers, one of the leading law firms specialising in employment laws.