Employment Law: Protecting the Welfare of Employees
This is the law that mediates the relationship between workers and their employees. Other interested parties in the employment laws are trade unions and the government because of the role that they play in ensuring there are proper dealings between employees and employers. There are also individual labor laws that stipulate and protect the rights of employees at work. Individual labor laws are enforceable where there is a contract of work signed between employers and employees. All these terms are the buildings blocks of employment law (Martin 23). The law of employment was formed to guard the duties and responsibilities of both employees and employers as stipulated in their contract of employment. This law is different in different countries but, in any case, the aim is to achieve the goal of protecting the welfare of employees, and inculcating a healthy relationship between employees and employers.
History of employment law
The labor laws arose during the industrial revolution as the relationship between employees and employers became more complicated. It changed from small-scale production to large-scale factories. Workers during that time were seeking better work conditions while employers were looking for a less costly workforce (Barnard 14). The employees wanted to be allowed to join labor unions. Based on such arguments, it is clear that labor laws are a product of interaction between several social forces. England, being the first country to industrialize, played a major role in the creation of employment law. All these happened during the 18th and mid-19th centuries. As the interaction between employers and employees intensified, more laws were enacted.
Legal temporary employment
The law presumes that the employment will be on a permanent basis. However, there is also a possibility of an employee getting temporary employment and it is recognized by law in special circumstances. For instance, the nature of work may dictate temporary employment when the work to be done is different from what the company performs ordinarily. The work may also be seasonal and cannot guarantee the permanency of positions. This kind of employment is characterized by a number of factors:
- The contract is automatically terminated when the period offered to complete the work expires.
- For a temporary employment contract exceeding one year, the employer should give employee a one-month notice when terminating the contract.
- In some countries, temporary employment which is continuous for four years attracts some aspects of permanent employment. For instance, the employees under such contracts enjoy the same protection of rights as those on a permanent basis.
Temporary employment may sometimes be illegal. The employees are allowed by law to sue their employers and demand judgment that makes their employment permanent. This provision may differ from country to country. The employee in such circumstances may also demand monetary compensation for any form of damage sustained for the period they worked on temporary contracts. The amount that is reasonable in this case is determined by the court.
Rights and responsibilities of employers and employees
The law of employment stipulates the rights and duties of an employee to an employer and the employer to an employee. The obligations of an employer to an employee are dependent on the following factors:
- The contractually agreed terms and conditions of employment.
- The terms and conditions may arise due to a mixture of case law and legislation.
- The legislative provisions are applicable in a given region.
The employees and employers have legal rights and responsibilities. The rights of the employer are the responsibilities that the employees are charged with. In the same manner, the rights of the employees are the responsibilities of the employers (Collins 23). The rights can be classified into two, statutory rights and contractual rights. The statutory rights are owed to everybody while the contractual rights are those stated in the contract of employment.
- The employee and employers are obliged to do what the contract of employment states. These are called express terms of employment. They may include the working hours and holidays among others.
- They should also comply with implied terms. These are normally not written and not obviously stated. They may include honesty, working to achieve the employer’s interest.
- Compliance with all safety and health rules is a crucial matter.
Definitions are given by law of employment
The law of employment explains some terms like an employee, employer, contract of employment, and a worker, among others. An employee is defined as a person who receives wages as compensation for the services rendered to an employer. It is the individual who works under the employment contract (Cihon and Castagnera 120). A contract of employment is a document stipulating the agreed terms between an employee and an employer relating to the services being rendered.
A worker may mean the same as an employee but also includes an individual who works under a contract other than the contract of employment and expects wages according to the terms agreed.
Barnard, Catherine. EC Employment Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Print.
Cihon, Patrick, and J. Castagnera. Employment and Labor Law. New York.
Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Collins, Hugh. Employment Law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.
Martin, David. Discrimination Law and Employment Issues, London: Thorogood Publishing, 2006. Print.