Chapter 15: The Legal Framework of Employment Relations
Simon Deakin & Wanjiru Njoya
The legal framework of employment relations 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with concepts and data which could be used to challenge the pre-existing legal order, which they saw as restrictive and outdated.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, as a legal sub-discipline, is uniquely open to the influence of the social sciences. Today labor lawyers are taking on the task of engaging not just with the broad sociological ...