Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer and union. The state of labour law at any one time is therefore both the product of, and a industrial relations & labour laws pdf of struggles between various social forces.
As England was the first country to industrialise, it was also the first to face the often appalling consequences of industrial revolution in a less regulated economic framework. Over the course of the late 18th and early to mid-19th century the foundation for modern labour law was slowly laid, as some of the more egregious aspects of working conditions were steadily ameliorated through legislation. This was the first, albeit modest, step towards the protection of labour. The act limited working hours to twelve a day and abolished night work. It required the provision of a basic level of education for all apprentices, as well as adequate sleeping accommodation and clothing. The rapid industrialisation of manufacturing at the turn of the 19th century led to a rapid increase in child employment, and public opinion was steadily made aware of the terrible conditions these children were forced to endure.
This act was an important step forward, in that it mandated skilled inspection of workplaces and a rigorous enforcement of the law by an independent governmental body. Many committees were formed in support of the cause and some previously established groups lent their support as well. British factories to effectively 10 hours per day. These early efforts were principally aimed at limiting child labour. In 1850, systematic reporting of fatal accidents was made compulsory, and basic safeguards for health, life and limb in the mines were put in place from 1855. Further regulations, relating to ventilation, fencing of disused shafts, signalling standards, and proper gauges and valves for steam-boilers and related machinery were also set down. A series of further Acts, in 1860 and 1872 extended the legal provisions and strengthened safety provisions.