Employment protection in Britain, once seen as resting on collective
bargaining supported by public policy, has increasingly come to be framed in
terms of individual legal rights, enforceable before judicial forums such as
employment tribunals. This dramatic shift towards juridification of the
individual employment relationship has not only contributed towards
significant changes to the institutional `landscape of employment relations in
Britain, but also carries important implications for the future of employment
law and regulation in `the home of collective bargaining.
This comprehensive evaluation of current institutional reality and trends
prepared to mark the 30th anniversary of the Advisory Conciliation and
Arbitration Service (Acas) provides a unique look inside the key institutions
of British employment relations. Each contributor leading academics and senior
practitioners, all closely associated with particular institutions locates
their institution in terms of purpose, origins, and context, discusses its
structure, governance and composition, and assesses its operation, considering
current challenges and future direction.
In the course of examining issues relating to institutional choice and roles,
the presentations offer contemporary views on the impact of decentralisation
and the shrinking of collective bargaining, decline in trade union membership
and strength, and the political effects of increasing global competition. The
influence of EU social policy initiatives upon British legislative policy is
identified, while attention is drawn to the consequences of an increased
feminisation of the workforce, along with an increasing incidence of
`non-standard workers and continuing service sector growth. Set alongside the
evidence of decline in manufacturing, restructuring of the public sector, and
the growth of the SME sector, this volume demonstrates the remarkable
pressures for change which have impacted upon the institutions of British
employment relations over the past thirty years.
These essays offer an especially valuable mix of expert independent discussion
along with personal insights gained from direct involvement in the operation
of the key bodies. As a much-needed overview and basis for evaluation of the
current institutional map of British employment relations, as well as a
contemporary consideration of lessons to be drawn from the changing
institutional face of employment relations in Britain, this book will be of
inestimable value to policy-makers and practitioners in the field, as well as
to students, academics, and more generally interested observers of the British
Preface. About the Authors. 1. Changing Times, Changing Needs:
Institutional Development Through Three Decades; L. Dickens, A. C.
Neal. 2. The Institutional Face at Ministerial Level: Not the
Department of Employment; M. Freedland, N. Kountouris. 3. The
Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service; K. Sisson, J. Taylor.
4. The Health and Safety Commission and Executive; B. Callaghan.
5. Training and Skills: An Institutional Patchwork; E. Keep. 6.
The Low Pay Commission; W. Brown. 7. The Central Arbitration
Committee; S. Gouldstone, G. Morris. 8. The Certification
Officer; D. Cockburn. 9. The Equality Commissions and the Future
Commission for Equality and Human Rights; B. Hepple. 10. The
Employment Tribunal System Taskforce; J. Gaymer. 11. The
Employment Tribunals; G. Meeran. 12. The Employment Appeal
Tribunal; M. Burton, P. Clark.