For an organization, employees are one of the most important assets. In today’s scenario, there is a lot of debate on the issues related to the relationships between employers and employees. The peaceful and healthy relationship between these two, guide the organization towards the success. This healthy relationship is mutually beneficial for both employees and employer. On the part of employer, it leads to the increased productivity while for employees it leads to the favourable working environment. But in the highly competitive business environment where the organizations are urging for more and more profits, the picture of this type of healthy relationship between employees and employers is becoming blurred day by day. For preventing of these conditions there are several legal provisions. These legal provisions are known as Employment Laws and legislations.
Fundamentally, the employment law is also termed as labour law. It is actually a part or body of the overall legislation system which is aimed to address different legal rights and obligations which are applied on both employees and employers who are working for a same organization. The employment related laws and legislations vary according to the country’s fundamental legal system. The practice of these laws and legislations also depends upon the country (Wolkinson, & Block, 1996).
The paper is aimed to reveal the different practices of the employment related laws and legislations in different countries. The paper is focusing more on the practices of the employment laws and legislation especially in the context of UK. The employment law in UK is very vast and well practiced in the country. In the paper, the practices of the law are compared with the employment law of US and the practices of the law in the country. There are various different aspects of the employment law such as Contracts of employment, Sex Discrimination & equal pay issues, Discipline and grievance procedures, and Age discrimination at the work place. In the paper, the main emphasis is given on the laws and provisions related to the contracts of employment. Further, the paper is also aimed to provide the important information about the effects which are thrown on the business and economic environment of the country by different provisions of the English legislation and law for employment related issues.
An overview of Employment law in England
The rules and regulations related to employment are very well practiced in the country like UK. The scope of the employment law is very wide in the UK which covers different aspects of organizations. The English employment law has a number of provisions for employers and employees as well. Briefly, the employment law is aimed to protect different fundamental rights of the employer and also provides them several guidelines for running an organization. Further, on the part of employees, the law is aimed to protect several rights of employees such as right related to the salary and remuneration, time off and holidays, working hours and working environment (Employment terms and conditions, 2010).
The employment or labour law of United Kingdom is considered as one of the oldest laws in the country. A number of amendments have taken place over period of time. Modern labour law which is practicing presently in the country was developed during the industrial revolution which took place in the UK in late nineteenth century. During the industrial revolution there was need of maintaining healthy relationships between employers and employees. For this purpose, a legal provision was made for protecting the fundamental rights of the labours. In twentieth century, the form of this labour law had been subjected to change significantly. In today’s scenario, the English employment law is the mixture of different laws such as Employment Rights 1996, Equality Act 2010, Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, etc. which was enforced by the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights (Contracts of employment, 2010).
An overview of Employment law in USA
The employment or labor law in the USA is a part of the Apex federal law. Fundamentally, the US employment law is the collection of the different federal law. The employment in the USA provides less protection to the employees in comparison to the employment law of the UK. The law of employment, in the USA is primarily based on the rule of “at-will” relationship between employer and employees according to which both the entities are free to terminate the employer-employee relationship with out giving any prior notice or ultimatum (Guerin & Delpo, 2009).
Contracts of employment and English employment law
The contract of employment is an important aspect of the English employment law. According to the employment law of UK, the contract of employment can be termed as written or oral agreement between the employer and employees. This is the agreement between employer and employees which enforces the employees to work for the employer and employers to pay employees for their work. This definition of employment contract is clearly defined in the Employment Right Act 1996. According to the act, the contract between employers and employees constitutes with different expressed and implied terms. The expressed terms comprises of various verbal or written arguments which are backed by a collective agreement between trade unions and employers. These expressed terms are actually the minimum standards which are needed to be followed by organizations such as obligations of giving paid holidays to their employees, obligations of giving a written and statuary notice before terminating any employee, right of receiving a formal and statuary notice form the employee before resigning, and many more.
Further, the implied terms in the contract are the rights and obligations which are not in verbal and written form in the contracts. These terms are derived from the contract. It is mainly focused on the duties and responsibilities of the employers and employees. There are different moral standards with in the scope of the implied terms of the contracts such as duty of employers and employees to maintain an environment of mutual trust and confidence in each other, employees duties for performing their task with full of their dedications, employer’s duty of provide safety at the work place, employer’s duty of providing good and hygienic working environment for their employees, and many more.
On the legal basis, the employment contract is same as the other legal contracts which are settled and managed under the terms and conditions described in the contract law. It is a legally binding contract between the two parties namely employees and employers which define several considerations about the relationship between employees and employers.
These types of contracts are actually the amended form of section 1 from section 7 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 which was subjected converted into the Employment act 2002. The employment contact is a legal formality which is consisted of two parts. The first of the contract is the complete and comprehensive documents which must constitute different aspects of the job which is offered to the participant. This document must be delivered to the employee by the employer at the time of joining and must be duly signed by both the parties.
The second part of the contract is the installment, which define several terms and conditions which generally arises during or after the job period such as rules and regulations related to the unavailability of the employee on the work place because of sickness and injury, terms and conditions related to the pension and other related benefits to the retired employees, etc.
According to the Employment act 2002, there is compulsion for the organizations to include all the terms and conditions of the contract in the offer letter. Further, the act also imposes the employer to provide a written copy of the contract to the employee with in two months of his joining, however, this can be provided in the installments over the period of two months (Contracts of employment, 2010).
Comparison between the practice of employment law in the UK and in the US
As a brief overview of the employment law and practice of this law in the UK and in the USA has been presented in the earlier section of the paper, this section is pointing some important aspects of the employment law in both the countries, on the basis of which a clear difference between these two laws can be inferred. There are different similarities and dissimilarities between these two laws which can be described as below:
Similarities between the employment law of the UK and the USA:
Fundamentally, the most important similarity lies in the basic purpose or aim of both the laws. The employment laws of both the countries imply the better and healthy relationship between trade unions or employees and employers. For this purpose, both the law provides certain rights and obligations to both the parties.
Further, both the laws ensures the different basic rights of the employees such as getting at least minimum wage set by the law, having paid leaves and holidays, having some perks, incentives and appraisal according to their performance, and many more. Both the laws implies a statuary obligation over the organization to have a written and statuary contract with the employee at the time of his joining which aims at putting legal boundaries and restrictions beyond which neither employers nor employees can go. The employment law of both the countries also provide guidelines for the different other related aspects of the employment such as Sex Discrimination & equal pay issues, Discipline and grievance procedures, Age discrimination and other organizational issues which are some prominent hurdles in the way of positive relationships between employers and employees (Federal Employment Discrimination Laws, 2010).
Contrast between employment law and practices of the law in both the country
Although, there are number of different similarities which can be sighted in the employment law and its practices in these two countries yet still there are different differences also pointed out here. The main reason of theses difference is the different fundamental regulatory and legislation system of these two different countries. Further, different conditions of economical, social and cultural system are also the reasons of different practices of the employment laws in these different countries.
First of all, the scope of the employment law is an important aspect which makes both the laws different from each other. The scope of the employment law of the UK is wider than the scope of the employment law of the USA. The employment law in the UK is recognized as a different section of the apex regulatory and legal system of the country, whereas the employment law in the USA is a mixture of different regulations and provision related to labour and employment which are employed in the different states of the country. The Employment law in the USA is equally applicable to each and every personal who works for an organization regardless whether he comes under the category of employees or labor where on the hand, in the employment law of the UK, only the employees who are in the legal contract with the employers are abided by the employment law. For the protection of the workers who do not come under the category of employees of the organization there are different laws such as the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. Further, the employment law in the UK is applicable on all kind of organizations regardless of their size and no. of employees, on the other hand, the employment law of the USA excludes the organization that are small in size. The organizations, which are having less then 20 employees, are not covered by the employment law of the USA. In the USA, there are about 89.5% firms which are having employees less then twenty in numbers. Because of this reason, the employment law of the USA excludes the majority of the firms in the country (Walsh, 2009).
The employment law of the UK is considered as more protective then the employment law of the USA. The provisions and regulations in the employment law of the UK are aimed to protect the fundamental rights of the employees more than the employment law of the US. Further, the important characteristic of the employment law of the USA is the “at will relationship” between employer and employees. The employment law of the USA implies that the relationship between employer and employees in an organization is confined on the fully professional terms and conditions. The employment law of the country suggested that there is no need of any kind of formal notice before the termination of the relationship between these two entities in an organization. The termination of this relationship depends on the will of the Employer or the employee (Walsh, 2009).
While in the employment law of the UK, there is need of a formal written and statuary notice before the termination of the relationship. Whether the termination takes place from the side of the employer or from the side of the employee, a formal notice, which states the reason of the termination, is needed to be served to the counter party. In relation to this, the obligation of the notice period is also set by the employment right act 2002. According to the law, a notice period of predetermined duration must be served before the termination takes. The law provides the contractual right of being paid to the employee for his services provided to the employer during the notice period. The employment law of the UK also examined the reason of this termination on the basis of legality.
Intentions of the employment contract in the employment law of the UK
The employment contract is a legal agreement, which is aimed to facilitate the organization with better, positive and healthy relationship between employer and employees which is considered as a key of success of the organization in today’s competitive business environment. The contract provides some fundamental rights to the employers and employees. Along with these rights, this contract also puts some obligations over the employers and employees. These rights are aimed to provide certain kind of benefits to both employees and employers. On the other hand, obligations are also very much essential for recognizing the responsibilities by the employer and employee (Wolkinson & Block, 1996).
The agreement between employer and employee is intended to maintain a peaceful and positive working environment at the work place. In the history, there are number of prominent examples of the strikes and lock outs which harmed the economic growth of the country. In today’s scenario, where the labor unions are playing a vital role in the management of large organizations, this type of employment contracts are very much beneficial for the benefits of the organization as well as labor unions. The main intention of these types of contracts is to resolve the different issues related with the employment so that the organization can increase its efficiency (British Columbia Law Institute: Workplace Dispute Resolution Project, 2010).
Impact of the employment contract under the employment law of the UK
As it is mentioned earlier, that the employment law is aimed to provide mutual benefits to the employer and employees, the employment contract throws a significant impact on the organization’s policies and procedures. The contract of employment is the legal and statuary proof of the relationship between the employer and employee. Different clauses of this contract provide different rights to the employees. Because of this reason, the organizations are needed to take more care to the different rights of its employees in the process of establishing its rules and regulations. The organizations are imposed to design their policies that are compatible with the different provisions of employment law.
Further, English law related with the employment contract leads to the fair and equal distribution of the salaries and wages, which lead to maximum satisfaction of the employees. Only satisfied employees can work for the organization with their maximum capacity and are responsible for the increased production and prosperity of the firm and the country.
The different provision of the employment contract is also preventing the organization to rule autocratically in the organization. It helps the employees to protect their fundamental rights. This advantage of the employment contract is reflecting in the decreased number of strikes and lock outs incidents in the country which leads to decrease in the production and business efficiency of the company as well as the country. Further, the English employment law is aimed to provide benefits not only to the full time and permanent employees but it is also aimed to protect the rights of the different categories of employees such as employees on the fixed term contracts, employees who are in the probationary period, causal workers, employees on the short term contract and employees on training. Because of this reason, the law affects the overall efficiency of the organization (Employment – In England, 2010).
The employment law of the country provides a lot of provision on the issues related to terminations. The law puts an obligation of a prior notice on the employers and employees in which there is need to mention the reason and basis of the termination. USA, where the employment law allows the “at will relationship”, was one of the prominent victim of recession. A lot of jobs are lost in the country. But because of some strict provisions over termination, which are provided by the employment contract under the employment law, the employment in the country was subjected to affect less in comparison of other developed countries such as USA.
The relationship between employers and employees has become an important topic for debate. With the help of information provided by the paper it can be concluded that employment law which is practicing in UK is very strong and comprehensive which covers different aspects of employment. The paper is also comparing the employment law of USA. On the basis of the comparison, it is revealed that there are certain similarities and dissimilarities between the employment laws of these two different countries. The employment laws of both the countries are aimed to provide several rights and obligations to employees and employers. Because of this reason, the employment law provides a guideline for the organizations, on the basis of which, the organizations can design their rules and regulations.
Further, there are certain dissimilarities also pointed out in the paper. The basic reasons for these dissimilarities are the different legal, cultural and social values of these different countries. With the help of the comparative analysis of the employment law and the practices of this law in both the countries, it can be revealed that the employment law in the UK is very comprehensive and well practiced in comparison to USA. The employment law of UK considers the perspective of employers as well as employees on the other hand the employment law of USA takes the perspective of employers primarily. The paper also elaborated different positive impact of the employment law on the organizations which are operating in the country. These impacts are describing the advantages and viability of the English employment law in today’s scenario.
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