The SAGE Handbook of Industrial Relations provides a systematic, comprehensive survey of the field. The result is a work of unprecedented scope and unparalleled ambition. It offers a compete guide to the central debates, new developments, and emerging themes in the field. It will quickly be recognized as the indispensable reference for teachers, students and researchers. It is relevant to economists, lawyers, sociologists, business and management researchers, and Industrial Relations specialists.

Chapter 15: The Legal Framework of Employment Relations

The Legal Framework of Employment Relations

The legal framework of employment relations

Introduction

The field of labor law grew up alongside that of industrial relations and they have generally been closely aligned. Industrial or ‘employment relations research has had a major, perhaps even predominant influence, in shaping labor law scholarship. In the first half of the twentieth century, legal scholars and practicing lawyers in Europe and North America looked to industrial sociology to provide them with concepts and data which could be used to challenge the pre-existing legal order, which they saw as restrictive and outdated. This is the approach associated, most notably, with ‘legal realism in the US and the work of the ‘social jurists’ in Weimar Germany. Labor law continues to reflect these origins and, ...

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