Labour law

mediates the relationship between workers, employers, trade unions and the government

Labour laws (also known as labor laws or employment laws) govern the relationship between workers, employers, trade unions, and the government.

Individual labour law gives employees' rights at work. Employment standards are social norms (sometimes also technical standards) for the minimum conditions under which people are allowed to work. Government agencies enforce labour law. Trade unions also play an important role in labour law, as they represent workers and negotiate with employers on their behalf.

There were laws in Assyria about work. The Code of Hammurabi set the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon.[1]

Labour laws developed more as factories were built in the Industrial Revolution. Laws were passed in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century to stop young children from working in factories. The Earl of Shaftesbury led the campaign for the Factories Act 1833, which limited the employment of children under eighteen years of age, stopped all night work, and provided for inspectors to enforce the law. Later there were more laws about working conditions for all workers. Similar laws were brought into other industrial countries.

The basic feature of labour law in almost every country is that the rights and obligations of the worker and the employer are set by a contract of employment between the two.[2] In most countries, employers must give their workers a written contract. There may be a minimum wage.[3] There may be rules about how many hours a day people can work, about their rights to holidays and to sick pay. There are often rules about safety at work. There may be laws about treating people fairly and not discriminating.


  1. "The Avalon Project : Code of Hammurabi". Retrieved 2023-04-25.
  2. Par, Sabrina (2021-07-01). "An Overview of Employment Regulations in the Philippines". Remotify PH. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  3. "Minimum Wage by Country 2023". Retrieved 2023-04-25.