A Guide to British Employment Law

If you’re an employer or an employee, or even a solicitor, then you may have come across Employment Law.  The following article explains the history of the laws of employment in Britain and the impact of the legislation which has occurred over the years.British Employment Law – The Industrial Revolution The British industrial revolution led to the introduction of employment laws in Britain. The reason for this was that, due to the advent of industrialism and use of machinery for the first time, workers were increasingly being asked to work longer and longer hours. The average working day, prior to the revolution was between 11-14 hours, however this had risen, with some workers working as many as 16 hours a day.British Employment Law – Working HoursIn 1833, a new law on employment hours was passed. This limited miners to no more than 12 hours work a day and children to just 10 hours. In 1848, a further reduction occurred, limiting all workers to just 10 hours.British Employment Law – The Factory Acts The Factory Acts (1802 and 1833), together with the 1832 Master and Servant Act were the first laws to regulate employment in the United Kingdom.Prior to 1960, the vast majority of laws regarding British employment was based on the Law of Contract. After then, due largely to Britain’s involvement in the European Union, there has been significant change and due to what is known as the “equality movement.” British Employment Law – The Equal Pay ActIn modern day terms, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 was a major turning point in British employment. Due to the radical nature of this Act, it didn’t come into effect until 1972. When it did, however, it brought much needed parity in pay and equality for women in the workplace. British Employment Law – Labor’s ReformsWhen Labor came to power in 1997, they set about reforming employment laws, with a series of measures designed to improve conditions for workers. Perhaps the most significant of these reforms was the introduction of the national minimum wage. In addition, the new working time directive governed working time, breaks and annual paid leave. Workers were also for the first time offered greater protection against discrimination on the grounds of age, religion or belief and sexual orientation as well as gender, race and disability.Now you now more about the history of Employment Law, and it’s affect on workers, isn’t it time you found out how it affects you?