In this section we explore the issues that have been a focus of struggles for workers’ rights in the UK and other parts of the world. These struggles have evolved as the nature of work has changed. Some struggles such as the campaigns to restrict working hours date back over two centuries, and others, such as the campaign for a living wage, are more recent.
Each issue includes a historical account of how workers’ struggles have secured the rights we take for granted today. We look at the development of law and see how the extension of rights is often an incremental process, with gains and reversals of those gains emerging in different periods. Each workplace issue concludes with a review of the limitations of existing provisions and ways to further extend rights.