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What are the objectives of labour laws?

Labour laws are one of the most far-reaching, crucial aspects of a democracy. Their enshrinement in law, and the mere fact of their existence acts as an often reliable safeguard to employment abuses. It provides an outlet for employee grievances, should there be justifiable reasons for such grievances. However, what are the ultimate objectives of labour laws? This guide will endeavour to answer that question.

By David Callan
What are the objectives of labour laws?

Employment rights and duties

Contractual obligations

An important objective of labour laws is to ensure that, at some specific point in the relationship between the employer and the employee, a contractual obligation is made by the employer. This should, where necessary, be signed by both parties and, spell out the exact requirements and conditions of the employment. Such a document is regarded as legally binding.

Safety

Employment law specifies that the employee has a reasonable expectation of a healthy and safe working environment. Where this is not the case, the employer has a lawful duty to rectify the situation, or he or she opens himself up to legal claims.

The most important claim is that of constructive dismissal, where an employee who considers his or her safety is compromised, can dismiss himself or herself from work and claim damages.

Wages and holidays

Central to labour law objectives is the right of the employee to be paid for his work, and as such, a minimum salary is laid down by the government. In addition, an employer should ensure that his or her employees have sufficient time off to recuperate from their work. Again, strict guidelines are dictated by the government in this respect.

Equality and job security

Discrimination in the workplace

Work laws define many kinds of discrimination including, but not limited, to sexual discrimination, racism, disability discrimination, ageism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The employer has a duty to ensure that he or she does not discriminate against any employee, and that he or she takes action against anyone in his or her place of employment who does so.

Security for employees

UK employee laws ensure that the employee is provided with security in at least three instances:

  • The employee must be allowed a period of notice if dismissed shortly after commencing employment.
  • Employees must not be unfairly dismissed, and must have recourse to an Employment Tribunal if they are.
  • Finally, after two years of employment, employees will be entitled to some form of redundancy or severage package if their job is made redundant. These all ensure that employment rules meet the objectives of UK labour laws.
  • What are the objectives of labour laws?
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