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THE FUTURE OF LABOUR LAW IN EUROPE The European Social Model

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Presentation on theme: "THE FUTURE OF LABOUR LAW IN EUROPE The European Social Model"— Presentation transcript:

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2 THE FUTURE OF LABOUR LAW IN EUROPE The European Social Model

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4 EU ENLARGED EUROPE: 27 STATES = = 500,000,000 people: 7% of the world population. 1/3 of world GDP Multi-cultural Greying of the population

5 SUBJECT OF LABOUR LAW Relations between employee(s) and employer(s) –Individual labour relations Search and selection Contracts of employment Categories of workers Working conditions –Wages –Working time, holidays, annual vacation… –Sickness Job security –Individual –Collective Non competition

6 SUBJECT OF LABOUR LAW –Collective labour relations Trade Union Freedom Workers participation –Shop stewards –Committees of Health and Hygiene –Works Councils –Board of companies Collective bargaining Industrial conflict: strike and lock-outs.

7 FRAMEWORK=GLOBALISATION Supercapitalism: share holders value Multinationals –Central decision making –Research and Transfer of NT Global market –Freedom of investment, of capital, and goods Crisis –Financial –Recession – collective redundancies

8 LABOUR LAW = NATIONAL Employee relations remain national Diversity is the rule and there to stay –Culture –Unionisation – trade union structure –Employers organisations –Collective bargaining – incomes policies –Words and gestures Convergence of costs vs. divergence of content

9 EU: SOCIAL OBJECTIVES OBJECTIVES –A HIGH LEVEL OF EMPLOYMENT –A HIGH LEVEL OF SOCIAL PROTECTION –EQUAL TREATMENT –IMPROVED LIVING CONDITIONS –IMPROVED WORKING CONDITIONS –PROPER SOCIAL PROTECTION –SOCIAL DIALOGUE –UPWARDS HARMONISATION –COMBATTING OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION

10 EUROPEAN COMPETENCE Fundamental social rights Majority voting: 2/3 of States; 62% population –working conditions –information - consultation –health and safety Unanimity: –job security - social security - taxes –workers participation –collective bargaining Excluded: –remuneration- –trade union freedom –strikes and lock-outs

11 GLOBAL CHALLENGE Core social competences are national (unanimity) There is competition between the Member States EU regarding taxes, wage cost, labour market policies….: race to the bottom? Power relations between business and labour have dramatically changed There is no European Social Model Wage cost and labour market policies are national affairs in the EU Local answers: Each Member State is on his own !!!!!

12 SOURCES OF LABOUR LAW Legislation (regulations & directives) Collective agreements (power relations) Case Law (ECJ) = strong Soft law: Guidelines

13 ACQUIS COMMUNAUTAIRE Free movement of workers (art. 39) Individual employment contracts (1991) Protection of young people at work (1994) Equal treatment (art. 141 and directives) Motherhood (1992) Working time (1993) Safety and health (Art. 137 and directives) Collective redundancies ( ) Transfer of undertakings ( ) Insolvency of the employer (1980) European Works Councils ( )

14 ACQUIS COMMUNAUTAIRE Parental leave (1996) Posting of workers (1996) Part-time (1997) Reversal of proof in case of discrimination (1997) Agreement on fixed term contracts (1999) Equal treatment (racial-ethnic origin) (2000) Equal treatment (general framework) (2000) European Company Statute (2001) Information and consultation (2002) Voluntary agreement on telework (2002) Voluntary agreement on related work stress (2004) Equal opportunities & men & women (2006) Voluntary Agreement on violence and harassment at work (2007) Temporay Agency work (2008)

15 EU EMPLOYMENT GUIDELINES Open Method of coordination Guidelines National plans – evaluation Guidelines –Employability = flexsecurity –Entrepeneurship –Adaptability –Equal opportunities

16 SOCIAL DIALOGUE A lot of contact – almost no contract Agreements + directive –Parental leave (1996) –Part time (1997) –Fixed term contracts (1999) –Some sectoral agreements Voluntary agreements –Telework (2002) –Stress related work (2004) –Violence and harassment at Work (2007)

17 GOAL OF LABOUR LAW = FLEXICURITY Match supply and demand on the labour market: create more and better jobs Balance * As much flexibility as possible * As much security as necessary From job security to employment security Role of governments, of the private employment agencies and social partners Transsecurity (Sweden)

18 CONCLUSIONS Companies need to be flexible. Workers need security Power relationship has been dramatically changed in favour of capital The economy is global, the social answer local. Without strong European social policies, flexicurity may be one way street, unless shortage of labour, due to the greying of the population, pushes companies to provide for more employability and security.

19 FUTURE OF LABOUR LAW International&European: soft law EU: voluntary agreements & open method of coordination –Hard law: hard to agree, even in case of qualified majority –Case law: European Court of Justice will be main initiator of future labour law Equal treatment (gender, age….) Acquired rights: transfer of enterprises –Main developments: national, as indicated, fore-ever –It is not forbidden to dream !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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