Create a 10 page essay paper that discusses Employment & Industrial Relations Law.
Courts have played an active role in adjudicating issues related to the determination of employer liability, especially in cases where the worker may be an independent contractor and may not receive the full benefit of legal provisions existing for workers. In a capitalist economy, employment contracts governed by the free will of the parties may not conform to standards of fairness due to the inequity of bargaining positions of an employer vis-à-vis employee.1 Historically, labor laws had a protective function, allowing workers to form unions to protect their interests in an employment relationship.2 Although further inequalities may exist from a social perspective. since only paid work comes under the purview of labor laws, while unpaid and domestic work is ignored thereby placing such workers in a subordinate position.
Contract law principles premised on common law form the legal basis of the employment relationship. The 19th-century notion that a contract between two parties is a freely negotiated instrument based upon the free will of the parties also forms the basis of employment contracts.3 In a capitalist economy, laissez-faire principles of the contract are vital because they ensure parties have flexibility in the negotiation of terms. However, the basic assumption in such contractual agreement is that both parties are in a position of equal bargaining power, although this may not be the case. In an employer-employee relationship, the common law basis of laissez-faire contracts may reinforce existing .inequalities, placing the employer in a superior position of social and economic bargaining over workers. . The parties may have divergent interests since there is an inevitable conflict generated between employer and employee, due to the worker being in a subordinate position.