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The Use of Languages in Employment Relations by

The Use of Languages in Employment Relations

Edited by Roger Blanpain†


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Bulletin of Comparative Labour Relations Series Volume 46

In a world dominated by thousands of multinational enterprises which take worldwide and far-reaching decisions from faraway headquarters, and in which cross-border migration of workers hugely exceeds all precedent, enforcing the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of language emerges as a major challenge. Despite the policy consensus of ‘unity in diversity’ that prevails nearly everywhere today, exceptional rules continue to emerge as necessary to protect languages against economic pressure from other linguistic groups and cultures. Especially in the European Union, where freedom of movement of workers and freedom of services are explicitly guaranteed, language-related circumstances often lead to serious disputes that have not been envisioned by policymakers or legislators.

This first book of its kind focuses on this nexus between employment relations and linguistic diversity, principally in the EU but taking parallel global developments into account. The author cover such issues and topics as the following:

  • language-related rights of parties to a cross-border employent contract;
  • language of employment documents;
  • access to information, both for companies and posted workers;
  • oral relations between employer and employee;
  • the language of transnational collective agreements;
  • circumstances under which a country may have the right to require knowledge of its language;
  • objectives of the EU language strategy;
  • representation of marginalized language groups; and
  • identifying a ‘seat of exploitation’ of an enterprise.
In-depth analysis of several crucial cases sharpen the focus and clarify central issues. As employers, employees, governments, and other social partners are increasingly confronted with an exploding multicultural society, this book will prove enormously valuable in its search for solutions which are both legally justified and feasible in practice. Labour and employment lawyers, jurists, and academics worldwide will appreciate its deeply informed clarity of perspective, its depth of treatment, and its considered recommendations.

Resources Table of Contents
Pages 144
Last Updated 08/27/2014
Update Frequency As Needed
Product Line Kluwer Law International
ISBN 9789041156068
SKU 10059609-0001
Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Tower of Babel

Chapter 2 Equal Treatment: No Discrimination on the Basis of Language

Chapter 3 Freedom of Movement of Workers in the EU and Beyond

Chapter 4 Freedom of Services in the EU

Chapter 5 International Framework Agreements


Annex I: The Enforcement Directive (2014).

Annex II: Directive 2014/54/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on Measures Facilitating the Exercise of Rights Conferred on Workers in the Context of Freedom of Movement for Workers.