New Industrial Rights and Wrongs: the Changed Framework of British Employment Law


  • John Goodman
  • Jill Earnshaw



This report outlines and assesses the substantial shifts in both collective and individual employment law in the United Kingdom since 1979. Against the background of a unique legal tradition and recent labour market trends, the paper summarises the step-by-step strategy of restricting trade union immunities in relation to industrial action, etc. It suggests that many new features, such as compulsory strike ballots will survive a future change in political control. On employee statutory rights the direction of change has been less consistent. Major tensions are apparent between the Conservative Government's deregulatory instincts and both the standard-setting directives from the European Union and significant court judgments on issues such as equal opportunities and equal pay.


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Author Biographies

John Goodman,

Jill Earnshaw,