SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Labour law

Labour law mediates the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee and union. Individual labour law concerns employees' rights at work through the contract for work. Employment standards are social norms for the minimum acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors are allowed to work. Government agencies enforce labour law. Labour law arose in parallel with the Industrial Revolution as the relationship between worker and employer changed from small-scale production studios to large-scale factories. Workers sought better conditions and the right to join a labour union, while employers sought a more predictable and less costly workforce; the state of labour law at any one time is therefore both the product of and a component of struggles between various social forces. As England was the first country to industrialize, it was the first to face the appalling consequences of the industrial revolution in a less regulated economic framework.

Over the course of the late 18th and early to the mid-19th century the foundation for modern labour law was laid, as some of the more egregious aspects of working conditions were ameliorated through legislation. This was achieved through the concerted pressure from social reformers, notably Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, others. A serious outbreak of fever in 1784 in cotton mills near Manchester drew widespread public opinion against the use of children in dangerous conditions. A local inquiry, presided over by Dr Thomas Percival, was instituted by the justices of the peace for Lancashire, the resulting report recommended the limitation of children's working hours. In 1802, the first major piece of labour legislation was passed − the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act; this was the first, albeit modest, step towards the protection of labour. The act abolished night work, it required the provision of a basic level of education for all apprentices, as well as adequate sleeping accommodation and clothing.

The rapid industrialisation of manufacturing at the turn of the 19th century led to a rapid increase in child employment, public opinion was made aware of the terrible conditions these children were forced to endure. The Factory Act of 1819 was the outcome of the efforts of the industrialist Robert Owen and prohibited child labour under nine years of age and limited the working day to twelve. A great milestone in labour law was reached with the Factory Act of 1833, which limited the employment of children under eighteen years of age, prohibited all night work and, provided for inspectors to enforce the law. Pivotal in the campaigning for and the securing of this legislation were Michael Sadler and the Earl of Shaftesbury; this act was an important step forward, in that it mandated skilled inspection of workplaces and rigorous enforcement of the law by an independent governmental body. A lengthy campaign to limit the working day to ten hours was led by Shaftesbury, included support from the Anglican Church.

Many committees were formed in support of the cause and some established groups lent their support as well. The campaign led to the passage of the Factory Act of 1847, which restricted the working hours of women and children in British factories to 10 hours per day; these early efforts were principally aimed at limiting child labour. From the mid-19th century, attention was first paid to the plight of working conditions for the workforce in general. In 1850, systematic reporting of fatal accidents was made compulsory, basic safeguards for health and limb in the mines were put in place from 1855. Further regulations, relating to ventilation, fencing of disused shafts, signalling standards, proper gauges and valves for steam-boilers and related machinery were set down. A series of further Acts, in 1860 and 1872 extended the legal provisions and strengthened safety provisions; the steady development of the coal industry, an increasing association among miners, increased scientific knowledge paved the way for the Coal Mines Act of 1872, which extended the legislation to similar industries.

The same Act included the first comprehensive code of regulation to govern legal safeguards for health and limb. The presence of more certified and competent management and increased levels of inspection were provided for. By the end of the century, a comprehensive set of regulations was in place in England that affected all industries. A similar system was implemented in other industrializing countries in the latter part of the 19th century and the early 20th century; the basic feature of labour law in every country is that the rights and obligations of the worker and the employer are mediated through a contract of employment between the two. This has been the case since the collapse of feudalism. Many contract terms and conditions are covered by common law. In the US for example, the majority of state laws allow for employment to be "at-will", meaning the employer can terminate an employee from a position for any reason, so long as the reason is not explicitly prohibited, conversely, an employee may quit at any time, for any reason, is not required to give notice.

One example of employment terms in many countries is the duty to provide written particulars of employment with the essentialia negotii to an employee. This aims

Mary Bannister Willard

Mary H. Bannister Willard was an American editor, temperance worker, educator from the U. S. state of New York. She was the founder of the American Home School for Girls in Berlin, earlier having served as editor of the Post and Mail and the Union Signal. Mary Bannister was born in Fairfield, New York, 18 September 1841, she was the daughter of Rev. Henry Bannister, D. D. a distinguished scholar and Methodist divine, his wife, Mrs. Lucy Kimball Bannister. In the infancy of Mary, their oldest daughter, the father became principal of Cazenovia Seminary, her childhood and early youth were spent as a pupil in that institution; when she was fifteen, the family removed to Evanston, Illinois when her father became Professor of Hebrew in Garrett Biblical Institute, the western theological school of the Methodist church. Willard graduated with honor from the Northwestern Female College at Evanston, at the age of 18; the year after graduating, she went to Tennessee as a teacher, but her career was cut short by the approach of the American Civil War.

On 3 July 1862, she married Oliver A. Willard who had in 1861 from the Garrett Biblical Institute, she went with her husband in Edgerton, Wisconsin. In the following year, they removed to Denver, where her husband founded a Methodist church, became presiding elder at the age of 27 years. Two years the family, consisting of the parents, one son and one daughter, returned to Evanston, where they made their home for several years, where another son and another daughter were added to their number. In 1872, the husband became connected with the editorial department of the Evening Mail. On consolidation of this paper with the Evening Post, he became managing editor of the Post and Mail, president of the Post Stock Company. Though Willard was a gifted writer, she wrote little during those years, excepting for home study with her husband, his death occurred at the Palmer House, March 17, 1878, after an illness of less than three days. The husband's sudden death was an overwhelming bereavement, left to Willard the responsibility of conducting his paper and Mail, which she assumed with the assistance of her husband's sister, Frances E. Willard.

The financial burden proving too heavy, it was relinquished, not long afterward Willard was called to assume the editorship of a new paper, the Signal, the organ of the Illinois Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Several years of successful work as editor and temperance worker displayed her abilities, both as an editor and as organizer and platform speaker; the Signal under her leadership came to the front, it was said that no other paper in the US was better edited. In 1881, she made her first trip to Europe. Editing the Union Signal for several years afterward, her health became impaired, with her two daughters, she spent a year in Berlin, Germany. In the autumn of 1886, she opened in that city her American Home School for Girls. In the years of her residence in Europe, she served as a representative of total abstinence reform, she died in 1912 in New York City. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: J. Moses & J. Kirkland's History of Chicago, Illinois This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: F. E. Willard's Woman and Temperance: Or, The Work and Workers of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: F. E. Willard's A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life Cherrington, Ernest Hurst.

Standard encyclopedia of the alcohol problem. 6. American Issue Publishing Company. Moses, John. History of Chicago, Illinois. Munsell & Company. Willard, Frances Elizabeth. Woman and Temperance: Or, The Work and Workers of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Park Publishing Company. Willard, Frances Elizabeth. A Woman of the Century: Fourteen Hundred-seventy Biographical Sketches Accompanied by Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life. Moulton

Thomas Barnes (Unitarian)

Thomas Barnes was an English Unitarian minister and educational reformer. He was the son of Warrington, his mother was daughter of the Rev. Thomas Blinston, of Wigan, he was born on 13 February 1747, he lost his father when he was in his third year. He received his elementary education at Warrington grammar school, in the Warrington Academy, he was subsequently licensed as a preacher of the gospel, became minister of the congregation at Cockey Moor in 1768. He remained there for eleven years; when he left, the numbers in attendance had trebled. In 1780 he became the minister of Cross Street Chapel at Manchester, it was at the time the largest and most influential congregation of Dissenters in the town and district, he remained there for thirty years until his death. In 1781, together with Thomas Percival and Thomas Henry, he founded the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. In 1783 he read a paper before the society and advocated the extension of liberal education in Manchester, he anticipated a provision for the instruction of youths of the town between their leaving a grammar school and entering into business.

His plan was approved. Barnes himself delivered a course of lectures on moral philosophy, a second on commerce; the impact of the institution was less than hoped, however. Barnes was induced, in association with his ministerial colleague, the Rev. Mr. Harrison, to undertake the government of Manchester College, he became its principal, for about twelve years. In 1798 he was still involved in local health bodies, he died on 27 June 1810. His essays, which were published in the early volumes of the Literary and Philosophical Society, services in the college, won for him in 1784 the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the University of Edinburgh. Barnes published ‘A Funeral Sermon on the Death of the Rev. Thomas Threlkeld, of Rochdale,’ and was a contributor to contemporary periodicals, his ‘Discourse upon the Commencement of the Academy,’ published in 1786, was reprinted in 1806. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "Barnes, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography.

London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900