Changes in Employment Status Under Austerity and Beyond – Implications for Freedom of Association
(2016) 39(1) Dublin University Law Journal
31 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2016 Last revised: 1 Sep 2016
Date Written: May 7, 2016
Since the financial crisis and the attempts made subsequently to alleviate sovereign debt, European Union (EU) Member States have pursued policies that limit access to legally recognised forms of ‘employment’. Such policies have well-documented effects on individual employment rights, such as access to protection from dismissal, but also have the capacity to undermine scope for freedom of association. That effect may arise by virtue of domestic labour laws, but also EU law relating to employment status in the context of collective representation. There is the possibility that EU institutions could redefine employment status to encompass non-standard forms of employment and there are tentative moves in this direction. Recourse to Council of Europe institutions to promote protection of freedom of association as a universal human right may also prove an effective means of addressing the legacy of austerity policies.
Keywords: austerity, labour rights, employment status, worker, freedom of association, collective bargaining, competition law
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