The Goals of Regulating Work: Between Universalism and Selectivity
University of Toronto Law Journal, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 22, 2013
What are the goals of labour and employment laws? For purposes of reforming, interpreting and defending such laws, it is important to articulate their goals. This article is concerned with the general goals of regulating work relations (i.e. goals shared by different regulations in this field), at the level of normative justifications. The various goals mentioned in the literature are reviewed and discussed. It is argued that these goals can be classified on a continuum between selective (in the sense of intending to help a specific group – employees) and universal (goals which are seen as advancing the interests of society at large and employers as well). It is argued that a trend can be identified, in recent years, from selective to universal articulations of goals. The difficulties with this trend are then exposed.
Keywords: labour law, employment law, normative justifications, purposive interpretation, universalism
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