New books


The law of the labour market

Industrialization, employment and legal evolution

Simon F. Deakin og Frank Wilkinson

Oxford University Press 2005. 406 s. ISBN 0-19-82528-7
Bogomtale fra forlaget.

· Provides a fresh interpretation of the evolution of the employment contract
· Illuminating analysis of the current renewal of labour market institutions against a backdrop of increasing technological and institutional change
· Challenges established ideas on the legal transitions accompanying industrialization
The emergence of a ‘labour market’ in industrial societies implies not just greater competition and increased mobility of economic resources, but also the specific form of the work relationship which is described by the idea of wage labour and its legal expression, the contract of employment. This book examines the evolution of the contract of employment in Britain through a close investigation of changes in its juridical form during and since the industrial revolution. The initial conditions of industrialization and the subsequent growth of a particular type of welfare state are shown to have decisively shaped the evolutionary path of British labour and social security law.
In particular, the authors argue that nature of the legal transition which accompanied industrialization in Britain cannot be adequately captured by the conventional idea of a movement from status to contract. What emerged from the industrial revolution was not a general model of the contract of employment, but rather a hierarchical conception of service, which originated in the Master and Servant Acts and was slowly assimilated into the common law. It was only as a result of the growing influence of collective bargaining and social legislation, and with the spread of large-scale enterprises and of bureaucratic forms of organization, that the modern term ‘employee’ began to be applied to all wage and salary earners. The concept of the contract of employment which is familiar to modern labour lawyers is thus a much more recent phenomenon than has been widely supposed. This has important implications for conceptualizations of the modern labour market, and for the way in which current proposals to move ‘beyond’ the employment model, in the face of intensifying technological and institutional change, should be addressed.

Readership: Scholars and advanced students in the fields of labour law, industrial relations, corporate governance, legal history, labour history, and business history.

· 1 Labour markets and legal evolution
· 2 The origins of the contract of employment
· 3 The duty to work
· 4 Collective bargaining and social legislation
· 5 Capabilities, competition, and rights

Authors, editors, and contributors
Simon Deakin, Robert Monks Professor of Corporate Governance, University of Cambridge and Frank Wilkinson, Emeritus Reader in Applied Economics, University of Cambridge and Visiting Professor, Birkbeck College, University of London