Collective Labour Law

Paul Davies and Mark Freedland

in Towards a Flexible Labour Market

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217878
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191712326 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Labour Law

 Collective Labour Law

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This chapter contrasts the retention by the ‘New Labour’ governments of the laws, introduced by the preceding Conservative administrations, which substantially restricted the ability of trade unions and workers to engage lawfully in industrial action, with the ‘New Labour’ reforms in relation to the expression of collective ‘voice’ at work. The ‘voice’ reforms were two-fold. The first, rooted in the traditions of British labour law and industrial relations, required employers to recognise trade unions for the purposes of collective bargaining where a majority of workers in a bargaining unit desired this. The second, coming from European Community initiatives, consisted of requirements for various forms of non-union based consultation mechanisms, covering all employees. It is argued that, paradoxically, the latter were probably more in line with the aims of the governmental policies than the mandatory recognition laws, even though mandatory union recognition has had a bigger impact in the area of collective worker voice than mandatory consultation mechanisms.

Keywords: voice at work; union recognition; employee involvement; employee consultation; industrial action law

Chapter.  31428 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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