employment lawsthe body of legislation providing for the regulation of relations between employers and employees and the conduct of INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES. UK employment law provides for the protection of individual employees’ rights, such as the right to protection from unfair dismissal, the right to statutory redundancy payments, etc. UK employment law embodies ARBITRATION and CONCILIATION mechanisms for settling industrial disputes, and proscribes certain courses of action that parties might employ in furtherance of an industrial dispute, such as certain forms of PICKETING.
Recent UK employment legislation, such as the EMPLOYMENT ACTS of 1980,1982,1988 and 1990 together with the TRADE UNION ACT 1984 and TRADE UNION REFORM AND EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ACT 1993, have limited the effect of TRADE UNION power, for example, by making trade unions legally liable for certain losses caused to employers in an industrial dispute; and by forcing trade unions to conduct ‘secret ballots’ prior to taking strike action, and protecting the rights of trade union members who refuse to go on strike. These measures were taken to reduce the monopoly power of trade unions as suppliers of labour, thereby making for more flexible LABOUR MARKETS. See SUPPLY-SIDE ECONOMICS.