The Coalition Government and employment relations: accelerated neo-liberalism and the rise of employer-dominated voluntarism

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    Abstract

    The Coalition Government’s interventions in the field of UK employment relations represent a sustained attempt to shift further the balance of domestic employment law and workplace employment relations in favour of employers. The Government has deployed the alleged interests of small and medium sized employers, under conditions of recession and accelerated globalisation, to weaken some individual employment rights, including various long-standing protections. Suprisingly little internal dissension to such developments has been apparent within the Coalition. A ‘Coalition effect’ is detectable through the parallel promotion of ‘fairness’, most visible in a number of new measures to promote work-life balance. However, we argue that the overall impact on UK employment relations is a deliberate attempt to reduce employment rights and the role of law in the individual employment relationship, to weaken workers’ ability to enforce remaining rights, and to strengthen the position of employers vis-a vis employees and government in the regulation of many aspects of the employment relationship.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationLe Royaume-Uni à l'heure de la coalition = The United Kingdom at the time of the coalition
    EditorsGilles Leydier
    Place of PublicationToulon
    PublisherRevue de l’Observatoire de la Société Britannique = Observatory of British society
    Pages145-164
    ISBN (Print)9782954048741
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2014
    EventLe Royaume-­‐Uni à l’heure de la coalition - Université de Toulon, Toulon, France
    Duration: 10 Oct 201311 Oct 2013

    Publication series

    NameRevue de l’Observatoire de la Société Britannique = Observatory of British society
    PublisherUniversity of Toulon
    Number15
    ISSN (Print)1957-3383
    ISSN (Electronic)1775-4135

    Conference

    ConferenceLe Royaume-­‐Uni à l’heure de la coalition
    Country/TerritoryFrance
    CityToulon
    Period10/10/1311/10/13

    Keywords

    • employment relations
    • Coalition Government
    • employment law

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