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Beyond the Third Way in Labour Law: Towards the Constitutionalization of Labour Law?

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Duration: 0:47:02 | Added: 02 Dec 2008
Professor Collins argues that New Labour was responsible for the real break from the political settlements of the Trade Disputes Act 1906. He suggests that a new social contract is required that constitutionalizes social and economic rights.

Blair's Third Way agenda was radically different from the early twentieth century political settlement in three respects. First, it was largely uninterested in the distribution of wealth in society; second, it conducted direct regulation of working conditions where that was believed necessary to support policy goals; third there was an acceptance, inherited from the preceding conservative governments, that individual bargaining in the context of competitive market forces would be the primary determinant of pay and conditions. To many people, what seems to be missing are certain guarantees to prevent a return to the simple free market in labour of the nineteenth century. This concern can be expressed as a need to reinvent the social contract, to rebalance the economic constitution, or to constitutionalize labour law.

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