History of Labour Law

The history of labour law started around end of 18th century. Labour laws were practised in such countries were industries were more in number. In the list of industrial country England was in top most position. Because of this it also suppose to face many labour related issues also.  The employees were getting exploited major. This also leads to unregulated economic frame work of the nations.

Basically to say the labour struggle is continuous, they constantly have to fight for their minimum rights like good working condition, fair wages and benefits, treatment with humanity, respect and safety for women in the employment etc. In the other end the capital player’s i.e the employers constantly exploit the employees to secure maximum profit, good economic condition for their own.

This situation leads the government to regulate the employee’s related issues legally. Over the period of time England government made a base for Labour Law. This happened between ends of 18th century to the beginning of 19th century. During this tenure the modern Labour Law practices comes into practice.

The historical development of Labour Law says that the first focus was on Child labour. Certain rules regarding the age limit and prescribed working time has been introduced for child labour. Later in a span of time the law also focused on female employees particularly on the working condition and working time.


To shorten it can be said that the exploitation of labours by the employers for the betterment of employers was the regular practice in many industries. Employers ruled the labour by imposing their own terms and conditions regarding working time, working condition, leave policy etc. Without any choice the employees were suppose to accept the conditions laid by the employers as the employment was their only source of income.

The employees even being the majority of the society were ruled by the employers who were minority of the society. Nor the government neither the judicial, given attention towards this situation. As they felt that it is only an internal issue of the industries so their interference is not required.

The government did not expect that the above said situation will affect the economy very adversely as a whole. It did not take much time to make the government to understand that the Economy is getting is weak and it needs immediate remedial measures. This way the government forced to incorporate labour laws to bring the better economy back in the nation.

This is how the modern labour law comes into existence. And in many countries labour laws are followed very promptly. Still there exists a vast scope for labour laws to improve. Few crucial areas are left untouched by labour laws. More revolution in labour practices internationally will bring much harmony in the society.

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