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LABOUR LAW Lecture 1

16th June 2004

The discipline of labour is defined in part by its subject matter and in part an intellectual tradition. Subject matter of labour law consists of the rules which govern the employment relationship but a broader perspective would see labour law as the normative framework for the existence and operation of all the institutions of the labour market. Institutions of labour market The business enterprise Trade Unions Employers Organizations The state as the regulator/employer The starting point for analysis is the existence of the employment relationship as a distinct economic and legal category. Labour law 1. stems from the idea of subordination of the individual worker to the capitalist enterprise; 2. Is the role of dependent labour a. Dependent Labour b. Independent Labour - labour that you can use as an independent worker on your own not subordinated to anybody else From this we infer that dependent labour is specific to those categories of economic relationship which involve the exchange of personal service or remuneration. What is labour law concerned with? It is concerned with how these relationships are constituted relationships of dependent labour and in the common law system the constitution is primarily based on contract and with how they are regulated and this role is shared by common law and social regulation and also by extra-legal sources such as collective bargaining and work place custom and practice. Intellectual tradition sees labour law as a unified discipline which has outgrown its diverse origins in the role of obligations and the regulatory intervention of the states. Labour law must establish itself as a branch Labour law is more than the sum of its parts and these views derive from the views of German jurists in the early decades of the 20th century and this approach sees labour law as the embodiment of social policy in action.

At its broadest it implies that labour law should embrace sociology, social policy and the theory of business organisation. There are a bewildering number of titles that are used in labour law. What is the name of the discipline it is a question of choice, industrial law popular in the 60s, employment law in 70s and now we call it labour law. Any discipline must be based on theory that informs what we learn in that discipline thus there must be a body of theory for labour law. in the context of labour law, although there may be a number of approaches, it is best to think of labour law as market regulation i.e the process in which the state and other players intervene on the labour market. There has been a number of approaches to the scope of labour law, according to Lord Welderberne 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The employment relationship between the worker and the employer Lord Wederberne refers to area of collective bargaining between trade unions and employers Parliamentary provision by statute overflow of rights for individual employees safety at work, rights in respect of job security and mattes such as equal pay and discrimination Strikes, lockouts and industrial action generally, this is industrial conflict Status of Trade Unions and the role of the trade union movement.

Smith and Wood in their book industrial law suggest that the subject may be split into 3 principal areas 1. Industrial safety law 2. Employment law 3. Industrial relations law which was characterised by Course outline 1. Foundations of Labour Law

Introduction to labour law Historical revolution of labour law Colonial factor in revolution of labour law 2. Individual employment Law

Employment relationship Contract of service Contract of employment.


Collective Labour Relations

Collective bargaining Industrial conflict Compulsory dispute resolution Law of strikes 4. 5. 6. Trade Union Law Social Security Law Status Employer