Simon Wren-Lewis reflects on the different language used about regulation and employment law when the restrictions apply to employees.
Employees are already beset by red tape if they try to improve their working conditions. Now the UK government wants to increase the regulatory burden on them further, by proposing that employee organisations need a majority of all their members to vote for strike action before a strike becomes legal.
Why should laws that apply to employers be regarded as a regulatory burden, but laws that apply to employees are not. Labour markets, alongside financial markets, are areas where the concept of a ‘free’ market uncluttered by regulations is a myth.
The government, although declaring its intention to reduce the burden of employment law, is considering tougher legislation on industrial action and, possibly, an outright ban in some areas. (See previousposts.)
Not that this stance is unusual. According to the most…
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