Very Short Introductions: Brilliant, Sharp, Inspiring In today's society, work takes up a vast proportion of the time and energy of ordinary people. Although use of the phrase 'work-life balance' is now commonplace in the media and ordinary conversation, people work longer hours than ever before. However, rather than purely a means to an end in terms of supporting oneself financially, the workplace is a place to develop skills and talents and build lasting friendships. For these reasons, people want to know about their rights in the workplace. Issues of equal pay, discrimination, discharge/dismissal, and redundancy are prevalent within the media, and there is a growing public appetite for knowledge of the law governing the employment relationship. This Very Short Introduction provides an overview of the main kinds of employment rights and labour laws found in many countries. It unpicks and evaluates some of the assumptions underpinning contemporary attitudes to such rights and laws in order to measure whether they are warranted. Throughout it also considers the economic, political, sociological, and social justifications for employment rights and laws. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.