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Employment Relations in the United Kingdom - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Employment relations in the United Kingdom Employment relations in the United Kingdom, like in many parts of the world, have a common characteristic of voluntary influence of social entities, with insignificant influence of the state…
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Employment Relations in the United Kingdom
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Download file to see previous pages In fact, by 1910, trade unions had the authority to engage in strikes, industrial actions and mass protests, without running the risk of prosecution for any damages resulting from such acts. At the time, there was minimal regulation of safety and health standards for workplaces, with trade unions taking up the role of championing for such rights. With European nation having colonies around the world, the economic context was quite favourable (McCrudden, 2007:259). Acquisition of raw materials, cheap labour and a huge market for industrial products was the defining feature of the European economy at the time. As such, the rise of trade unions, with minimal control from the respective central governments was a common figure. In the United Kingdom, the law at the time allowed for industrial action between employers and their employees, without any interference by the state (Nick, 2010: 111). Perhaps, this was a sort of “immunity” from the provisions of the prevalent common law, which does not recognise such rights. The United Kingdom was among the very first countries to institute industrial relations in its systems (Lewis, 1983: 271). Since this development, the UK has seen a major turn of events over the time, to the present day state of affairs, in the employment and labour market. Perhaps, modern day industrial relations have their basis and growth in the Great Britain, dating back to the early twentieth century. Right from the start of the industrial revolution, the UK has played a great role in modelling labour and employment relations around the globe. In fact, any literature or study, which does not refer to the industrial revolution, will have difficulties in explaining labour relations in any part of the world. In the early parts of the twentieth century, the relations in the industrial sector relied on regulation for the purposes of controlling the wage conflicts between employers and their staff, and the steep competition between industry players as well. The result was creation of the first industrial relations regulation, primarily focusing on addressing the twin problems above (Darlington & Lyddon, 2001: 53). After the world war, there was an increase in the need to produce more for the war-ravaged economy. However, pertinent issues around wages, extraneous working conditions, and deteriorated working environments were a major concern among many industries. With this scenario, in 1968 trade unions came into play, as a channel through which employees in all industries and firms could have level bargaining grounds (Singh, 2005: 165). With these unions, the landscape of industrial labour relation begun to change dramatically, as employees got more power to champion for their rights, especially on wages and working conditions. Trade unions played a major role in determining employment relations in the United Kingdom. The British labour relations fall under three categories, over the last century. Firstly, the volunteer philosophy is an integral aspect of the growth of collective bargaining for workers. Secondly, there was the establishment of trade unions, whose mandate was to champion for the wages, and minimum responsibility of the employers to their employees (Heery, 2010: 80). This was particularly crucial in creation of an independent entity, free from state influence on the affairs of the work place. This development kept the state away from active engagement in the employment ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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