Types of Labor Laws

There are different types of labor laws, each one for a special occasion – get to know them all!

So Various Types of Labor Laws

Labor laws explain the relationship between employees, employment agencies, trade unions and the government. They are divided into various categories depending on the role for which they are formulated. Individual laws are mainly concerned about the rights of the workforce at the workplace and in their contract of employment. On the other hand, collective rules explain the relationship which should exist among the employer, employee and trade unions which in most cases represent the workforce. The two categories of labor laws are discussed in details below showing the different aspects within each deal.

Individual labor laws

These laws mostly explain the right of employees in the workplace. Their primary target is to ensure that workers are not oppressed and are also exposed to fair working conditions. They explain the factors which should be put into consideration during the signing of the contract of employment between the job seeker and the employment agency. Individual labor laws indicate the number of hours which the worker should be engaged and the minimum remuneration which employees should be paid. They also show the conditions under which the contract of employment should be terminated and the compensation and other benefits entitled to the employees. Individual laws explain the following aspects:

(a)    Minimum wage

Labor laws define the minimum wage which an employee should be paid per hour working. It ensures that workers are not oppressed by their bosses by being paid a small remuneration which cannot be equated to the output produced. The least amount of pay to workers is different in various countries.

(b)    Living wage

It mostly outlines the remuneration for permanent employees. It is based on the fact that permanently employed workers do not get time to look for income in other areas. Living wage, according to labor laws, should be slightly higher than the minimum wage and should be able to support the employee and their small families.

(c)    Working hours

Labor laws dictate on the maximum number of hours which an employee should be engaged in production activities of the employer. The law also explains whether employees who work for more than the maximum number of set hours should be paid an extra remuneration or not. The maximum number of working hours is different in various countries and depends on the type of job.

(d)    Health and Safety

Individual labor laws guarantee employees’ safety during their course of duty. They stipulate that cost of treating injuries which workers get during the performance of their regular assignments should be paid by the employer. Employment agencies are also expected to provide a safe and secure working environment to its employees.

(e)    Child labor

This law is concerned about the minimum age of the people an employment agency should hire.  The main aim of the child labor law is to protect minors from being exposed to oppressive acts of employers. In most countries, children below the age of 18 years are considered as minors and should not be employed. They cannot make their own decisions without the help of their parents or guardians.

(f)    Dismissal and discrimination

Labor laws explain the conditions under which an employer should be dismissed from employment without an agreement between the employer and the employee to terminate the contract of employment. It also explains the consequences of an employment agency terminating employment agreement without the consent of the other party and the compensation which should be provided to the affected workers. Individual labor laws also protect employees from any form of discrimination by their employers. Any discrimination which can be in the form of gender, race or social class is regarded as illegal and morally unaccepted.

Collective labor laws

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Collective labor laws are applied where there is a trade union which protects the interest of its members. The main aim of the laws is to explain the conditions which should govern the relationship between the employer, employee and trade union. In most cases, labor unions are formed by individuals with the same interest to represent them during negotiations. They are mostly created by employees to defend their rights regarding wages and benefits which in most cases are violated by employment agencies. Collective labor laws deal with the following aspects:

(a)    Workplace participation

The laws concerning the involvement of employees in the workplace give them the mandate to participate in the management of the organization. In big corporations, the workforce has the right to elect the board of directors who are charged with the administration of the company. Depending on the performance of the elected directors, employees also have the right to force them out of office if they do not meet the requirements as stipulated by the union. However, such rights are only applicable to the workforce of developed countries.

(b)    Consultation and information

Collective labor laws require employers to consult their workers on issues regarding operation of the corporations. This is because employees understand the matters on the ground better than the management. Thus, they should be consulted before making decisions which affect both the company’s actives and the employees.

(c)    Collective bargaining and action

Depending on the members who form the trade union, collective laws require that the union should engage in negotiations on behalf of its members. Officials of the union are charged with the responsibility of presenting the grievances of its members without allowing the opponent party to compromise them. The agreement reached should be accepted by all the members without any compromise, and should be honored by the opponent. Most collective bargaining agreements are between the labor union representing the workforce and the employment agency regarding salaries and remuneration, benefits and compensation, working hours and safe working conditions. If the agreement reached by the employer and the union officials is not honored, an action should be taken where all the members of the union should participate. In most cases, a strike is the most common measure taken by workers to solve industrial disputes.