EU Migration and Asylum Law: A Labour Law Perspective

ACL Davies, A Bogg, C Costello (eds) Research Handbook on EU Labour Law (Elgar 2016 Forthcoming)

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 28/2016

Posted: 1 May 2016

See all articles by Cathryn Costello

Cathryn Costello

University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Date Written: February 16, 2016

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is survey EU migration and asylum law from a labour law perspective. A labour law perspective is concerned with the work relationship, and focuses not only on the worker, but also the employing organisation and any intermediary involved in labour supply. Examining EU migration and asylum law using this multifaceted prism of labour law reveals that EU migration and asylum law has a profound impact on labour law. That impact may be understood has having three different dimensions. (1) It affects the supply and demand for migrant workers. In this sense, migration law can be a form of labour market regulation. (2) migration and asylum law create different migration statuses that in turn determine, at least in part, labour rights. The move to re-introduce status over contract as a determinant of workers’ rights divides the subjects of labour law. (3) Migration status and the fact of migration may be risk factors for labour exploitation. In order to examine these three facets, the particular role of the EU in this field must be explained. Part 1 provides a sketch of the role of states and markets in the regulation of migration. It sets the scene to understand the profound but limited role of the EU in this context. Part 2 examines the status of EU Citizenship, and the forms of liberalised free movement in the EU’s internal market, that principally benefit those who hold the nationality of an EU Member State. I also consider two important derivative statuses for so-called third country nationals (TCNs), who gain EU rights as family members of EU Citizens and so-called ‘posted workers’. Part 3 concerns those TCNs who require permission to live and work in the EU, and provides an overview of some of the different statuses created by EU law, and their labour rights content. Part 4 explores the notion of ‘irregular status’, and the EU Employer Sanctions Directive and the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Tümer contrasted. In the final part, Part 6, I briefly highlight some features of migration status that are risk factors for labour exploitation. A recent EU Fundamental Rights Agency Report details the links between migration and extreme labour exploitation. Current responses focus unhelpfully on trafficking, or on forced labour, and look in particular to criminal law for solutions. This chapter recalls some responses from within labour law. It is suggested that further research is required into the question of which regulatory approaches and combinations thereof work best to protect migrant workers from exploitation.

Keywords: EU, migration, asylum, labour law, migration status, workers' rights, labour exploitation, seasonal workers

Suggested Citation

Costello, Cathryn, EU Migration and Asylum Law: A Labour Law Perspective (February 16, 2016). ACL Davies, A Bogg, C Costello (eds) Research Handbook on EU Labour Law (Elgar 2016 Forthcoming), Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 28/2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2773061

Cathryn Costello (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Refugee Studies Centre ( email )

Oxford Department of International Development
32 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX13TB
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

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