Minimum Wage Regulation under Devolution in Northern Ireland

Boyd Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper assesses the development and functioning of regional minimum wage regulation in Northern Ireland in the interwar period under a federal form of devolution. Unlike current devolution arrangements in Scotland and Wales, this gave the Stormont Parliament powers over employment and minimum wage regulation. Northern Ireland Trade Boards were set up by the Ulster Unionist Government under the Trade Boards (Northern Ireland) Act 1923 and functioned along the same lines as those in Great Britain. Uniquely in the UK in this period, employer opposition resulted in the main Trade Board in the Irish Linen Industry being replaced by voluntary collective bargaining machinery. About one-quarter of employees were covered by minimum wage regulation, including two-thirds of females in Belfast, keeping a protective floor under low pay.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Industrial Relations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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