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Social Responsibility in Labour Relations. European and Compararive Perspectives by

Social Responsibility in Labour Relations. European and Compararive Perspectives

Edited by Frans Pennings, Yvonne Konijn, Albertine Veldman


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Since 1945, socially moderated market economies have formed the cornerstone of the European socioeconomic model. Now, however due to powerful global economic, political and demographic tendencies tensions between social and economic interests and values are increasing. These developments create an urgent need for answers, actions and measures on the European level.

This wide-ranging but focused collection of essays approaches this important trend from multiple perspectives. Compiled in honour of the major European labour law scholar Teun Jaspers, it encompasses a broad spectrum of analyses and insights by forty-one distinguished contributors from seven countries. Four major tensions are identified: between the European and national level, between fundamental rights and economic freedoms, between workers and employers, and between soft and hard law instruments. Throughout, a comparative approach is emphasized, not only within the EU but also between the EU and China and South Africa. Among the many topics covered are the following:

  • relocation of labour to low-wage countries both within and outside the EU;
  • conditions for tempering the excesses of the free labour market;
  • the legal weight of voluntary standards such as codes of conduct;
  • extending the scope of application of corporate social responsibility norms to transnational enterprises;
  • pressure on national social law due to flexibilization, deregulation and individualization;
  • contract termination protection;
  • employability and training of employees;
  • fixed-term work in the wake of the Mangold ruling;
  • adjustment of working conditions for ill and disabled workers;
  • right to strike; and
  • restructuring of enterprises.

In light of the Lisbon strategy, the authors address how the various tensions should be reconciled, especially in the context of the flexicurity approach.

The book will be of great interest to academics and practitioners for its clear categorization of the issues which must be overcome when regulating employment and social policy in the context of today’s EU multilevel legal order. It pays detailed attention to the legal questions raised by emerging European labour and employment policies in respect of their specific materialization, the opportunities they offer, their feasibility, and the threats they pose to traditional worker’s protection and, more generally, to traditional concepts of labour law.

Last Updated 10/23/2008
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041127839
SKU 10059486-0001
Table of Contents

List of contributors. Introduction: Part 1 Dilemma’s of European social policy 1. The place and role of comparative labour law in the framework of the European Union Rolf Birk 2. Enforcement of EC labour law: some less felicitous consequences? Sacha Prechal 3. Can a stronger anchoring of European labour law and social security law to Community law guarantee a sustainable European Social Model? Marc Rigaux and Jan Buelens 4. Corporate Social Responsibility and (European) Labour Law, friends or foes? Filip Dorssemont 5. Social Responsibility of Enterprises: A Bridge between Labour and Economic Law Bart Hessel 6. The Coherency of European Social Policy: the ECJ caught between Flexible Employment Policies and upholding European Employment Rights Albertine Veldman 7. Chinese labour law rules viewed with European eyes Wolfgang Däubler Part 2 Social responsibility and the modern enterprise 8. Life-long-learning as an individual social right Guus Heerma van Voss 9. Workers’ protection in transnational companies Isabelle Daugareilh 10. Transnational corporate social responsibility – some issues with regard to the liability of European corporations for labour law infringements in the countries of establishment of their suppliers Aukje A.H. van Hoek 11. Decent work – fair wages. New questions for European labour law? Ulrike Wendeling-Schröder 12. Enterprise responsibility for sexual harassment in the workplace: comparing Dutch and South African law Darcy du Toit 13. Justifying and applying vicarious liability Marlies Vegter 14. The responsibility of the modern enterprise in the reduction of sickness and the promotion of reintegration of disabled workers Frans Pennings 15. Protection against the termination of a contract of employment – Lessons from a comparison between Dutch and German law Bernd Waas Part 3 Flexibility and security 16. Mapping out flexicurity pathways in the European Union Ton Wilthagen 17. Modernizing the European Social Model by a ‘Leonine Partnership’: the socially ‘irresponsible’ enterprise in the age of flexicurity Edoardo Ales 18. Adapting work to the worker. The individual and international working time regulations Willem Bouwens and Pauline Burger 19. Fixed-term work in the recent case law of the European Court of Justice Silvana Sciarra 20. Achieving the Fixed-Term Work Directive’s aims: United Kingdom Implementation and Comparative Perspectives Pascale Lorber 21. Dismissal law proposals and the flexicurity strategy Daniel Cuypers and Evert Verhulp Part 4 Employability and integration of outsiders of the labour market 22. European equality law or: losing sight of the wood for the trees Marjolein van den Brink, Susanne Burri, Jenny Goldschmidt and Titia Loenen 23. Equal treatment and gender justice in corporate policies on social responsibility Eva Kocher 24.