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Labour law (also called law or employment law) is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees. In Canada, employment laws related to unionized workplaces are differentiated from those relating to particular individuals. In most countries however, no such distinction is made. However, there are two broad categories of labour law. First, collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer and union. Second, individual labour law concerns employees' rights at work and through the contract for work. The labour movement has been instrumental in the enacting of laws protecting labour rights in the 19th and 20th centuries. Labour rights have been integral to the social and economic development since the Industrial Revolution. Employment standards are social norms (in some cases also technical standards) for the minimum socially acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors will work. Government agencies (such as the former U.S. Employment Standards Administration) enforce employment standards codified by labour law (legislative, regulatory, or judicial).
Labour Law covers the relationship between groups of employees, organized as unions, and employers. Union representation allows employees to bargain with employers for rights and benefits collectively. While labour laws grant employees the right to unionize and to engage in activities such as picketing and striking, they also allow employers to defend themselves by seeking injunctions or creating a lockout.
The body of law that governs the employer-employee relationship, including individual employment contracts, the application of tort and contract doctrines, and a large group of statutory regulation on issues such as the right to organize and negotiate collective bargaining agreements, protection from discrimination, wages and hours, and health and safety.
Labour law, legislation dealing with human beings in their capacity as workers or wage earners. The Industrial Revolution, by introducing the machine and factory production, greatly expanded the class of workers dependent on wages as their source of income. The terms of the labour contract, working conditions, and the relations between workers and employers early became matters of public concern.