Key Elements of Labor Laws

Labor law is one varied body of law enforced to matters such as industrial relations, employment, trade unions, remuneration etc. Labor laws deal with legal relationships between the state and organized economic interests, legal requirements and cumulative relationships that are progressively important in mass production societies.

The essential subject matter or the basic elements of labor law can be studied under nine broad heads.

1) Individual employment relationships: The building, refitting and termination of employment relations and the resultant understanding forms one branch of labor law.

• Also, certain aspects like transfer, promotion, compensation and dismissal procedures are involved in this element.

• As the law advanced, implicit terms and legal matters such as dismissal procedures, minimum wages, work conditions, termination of employment limited the freedom of contract.

• Rightfully, the individual contract of employment plays a more important role in civil-law countries than in common-law countries.

2) Employment: The main priority of this subject was upon the reduction or prevention of enormous unemployment rather than on a long-term employment policy that promotes economic growth and stability.

• Legislation has deep-rooted the necessary frame work for catering employment services that include vocational training, recruitment, placement, apprenticeship and for predicting the need of man power and availability.

• Factors such as employment and occupational equality, exemption from forced labor and unemployment benefits are regarded as part of the subject matter.

3) Wages and remuneration: Legal requirements regarding the methods and forms of wages and wage payment deals, notification of wage conditions, proper valuation and limitation of payments, regularity in wage payments etc. are covered under this subject.

• The nominal law of wages and remuneration envelopes factors such as:

• The protection of wages against illegal understanding

• Methods and forms of payment

• Fringe benefits

• Determination of wages and minimum wage arrangements

• Judicial supplies and composite agreements for deciding wages may consider elements such as elimination of sex and race differentials, skill distinction, wage guarantees and the relationship of wages to productivity.

4) Work Conditions: This element deals with the conditions for work such as rest periods, hours, vacations, special provisions in regard to the employment of women, prohibition of child labor and effective regulation of young people in employment.

• Legal assurance of equal employment and pay, coupled with provision of facilities with family responsibilities and adequate maternity protection, are also included.

5) Trade unions and industrial relationships: This category includes complex legal relationships such as

• Rights and obligations of employer organizations and trade unions

• Legal status

• Collective agreements and bargaining,

• Representation of employees at enterprise and plant level

• Prevention and settlement of various labor disputes

The way it integrates collective bargaining and freedom of association with economic growth and stability remains the most difficult and challenging problem of labor law.

6) Health, safety and welfare: Occupational health and accident preventive regulations, services and special regulations for hazardous occupations (dock work, mining, and construction) are included in this particular element.

• Major developments include increased concern with the wide use of chemicals and welfare facilities related to employment, recreation and transport facilities.

7) The administration of labor laws: This feature of labor law involves the functioning and organization of administrative authorities such as labor inspection services, labor departments, etc.

• It also encompasses industrial disputes between management and labor, and the operation of labor courts and bodies for settlement of hardships that arise from agreements or contracts.

8) Social security: This category ranges from employers obligation for occupational accidents to comprehensive schemes.

• The schemes render income security in case of employment injury, sickness, maternity, survivors’ benefits and medical care.

• Social security found increasing acceptance with varying degrees of application in varied stages of economic development.

9) Special provisions for particular occupational or other groups: Labor law includes many specific provisions for occupational or other groups that appear as parts of special legislation.

• These provisions are important and common in transportation (maritime transport), mining, agriculture and other commercial occupations.

The main tendency of labor law is to strengthen the constitutional relations and legal requirements at the expense of rights created by individual employment relationships.