The extent of CB requires separate treatment as it is more difficult to determine than it appears. Such coverage is not linked to union membership, since a contract is likely to cover all workers in a particular entity, whether or not they are members of the union that negotiated it. In the United Kingdom and the United States, however, it is reasonably clear who is covered by a collective agreement. America, in particular, uses the language of “released” and “non-exempt” employees (established by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938), the former (usually senior executives and executives) not being covered by CB. If a collective agreement exists, the sites and staff involved are clearly defined. In other countries, the situation is also clear. In countries like Sweden, where the number of union members is very high and includes many groups of employees who could be considered exempt in America, coverage is also extremely high. But in France, for example, a collective agreement is less clearly defined. Many French trade unions formally refused to sign contracts, as this was contrary to communist ideology; they were covered in practice, even if they were not signatories.
It is also well known that French trade union membership is a poor indication of the extent of workers` union membership. France, together with Germany, is also a case in which collective agreements are generally extended to an entire sector to cover enterprises and workers not directly involved (Traxler 1996). Im Common Law, Ford v. A.U.E.F. , the courts have already ruled that collective agreements are not binding. Second, the Industrial Relations Act of 1971, introduced by Robert Carr (Minister of Labour in Edward Heath`s office), provided that collective agreements were binding unless a written contractual clause provided otherwise. After the death of the Heath government, the law was rescinded to reflect the tradition of British industrial relations policy to legally refrain from any conflict in the workplace. The provisions on equal pay for equivalent (comparable) work open up a wider scope for questioning, but this strategy has proved difficult to implement. Historical biases in the way “female” jobs are evaluated have not been easy to eliminate, as even fairly detailed job evaluation methods can maintain some aspects of gender bias and maintain existing hierarchies (Steinberg 1992). In addition, the cases have proven to be complex and time-consuming. However, the comparable value makes it possible to revise the valuation of work and is particularly important given the apparent resistance of occupational segregation patterns to change.
It will be most effective when the possibilities for comparison are vast and the results apply collectively to types of jobs and not to individuals. Registered agreements could be concluded by trade unions, but they could also be concluded by individual employers working either with a group of workers or with individual employees. Agreements are often described as the result of negotiations, but there is little evidence of negotiation with non-union agreements or AWA. These are generally standard agreements offered to individual employees for signature and, in fact, current case law confirms the practice of offering new employees an AWA as a condition of employment (Mitchell et al., 2005). Recent legislation further relaxes the requirements for procedures for reaching an agreement. Collective agreements, which included both union and non-union agreements, were traditionally registered with the AIRC, but after 1996, a new body, the Office of employment counsel (OAS), was formed to register AWA, and this body has now been tasked with submitting all agreements. .