Employment Law

The period 1945-1995 saw major developments in employment law moving from a situation in industrial relations where collective bargaining and trade unions were protected from judicial intervention to one where unions became heavily regulated, but there was an additional growing body of statutory individual rights. These developments included-

- evaporation of the wartime consensus leading to attempts to increase government intervention in industrial relations

- a raft of employment protection and anti-discrimination legislation introduced by the 1974-1979 Labour Government

- agenda of the 1979-1997 Conservative Government to remove trade union immunities

- role of Europe in expanding individual employment rights

Resources available on this site related to trade union organisation:

- Read a learning narrative on employment law, a paper written by Paul Smith from Keele University.

- View images relating to employment law.

- Hear audio interviews.

- Search the collection for resources relating to "employment law").

Examples of interview resources:

... because this was 1974, how much that the example of Fidelity got known because after Fidelity you get a whole load of other union recognition disputes on low pay and bullying. As we’ve said Chix, Trico, Garners’ Steak Houses, and then Grunwicks becomes the one that really loads everything up. It’s just so interesting that, particularly in West London, you had this phenomenon of all these different strikes over recognition, usually involving women and in some cases Asian women as at Chix and Grunwicks.

Dave Welsh, HISTORYtalk, about the fight for union recognition in the 1970s in West London. Read more about West London