What is the purpose of labour legislation?
Labour legislation that is adapted to the economic and social challenges of the modern world of work fulfils three crucial roles:
- It establishes a legal system that facilitates productive individual and collective employment relationships, and therefore a productive economy;
- by providing a framework within which employers, workers and their representatives can interact with regard to work-related issues, it serves as an important vehicle for achieving harmonious industrial relations based on workplace democracy;
- it provides a clear and constant reminder and guarantee of fundamental principles and rights at work which have received broad social acceptance and establishes the processes through which these principles and rights can be implemented and enforced
But experience shows that labour legislation can only fulfills these functions effectively if it is responsive to the conditions on the labour market and the needs of the parties involved. The most efficient way of ensuring that these conditions and needs are taken fully into account is if those concerned are closely involved in the formulation of the legislation through processes of social dialogue. The involvement of stakeholders in this way is of great importance in developing a broad basis of support for labour legislation and in facilitating its application within and beyond the formal structured sectors of the economy.