Proletarianisation, Labour Regulation and Socio-Economic Context in the EU: How Did We Get Here, Where Are We Going and Why?

‘Proletarianisation, Labour Regulation and Socio-Economic Context in the EU: How did we get here, where are we going and why?’ (Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, Aberdeen Scotland 4th September 2013)

16 Pages Posted: 12 May 2021

See all articles by Jennifer L. Gant

Jennifer L. Gant

University of Derby - School of Law and Criminology

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Labour regulation is a complex and ever changing area of the law fed by social and economic policy, politics, external and internal pressures, and cultural influences. In isolation, labour regulation is particular to the country in which it is found. However, in a world growing smaller due to the evolution of an international marketplace through globalisation, the differences in labour regulation between jurisdictions can become an issue in cross border business transactions and may even affect a multi-national company’s choice of investment. The flexibility or inflexibility of labour regulation will affect the attractiveness of a jurisdiction, as evidenced by the outsourcing of labour intensive sectors of many corporations to developing countries which lack the expense of protective labour regulation and minimum wage requirements. In order to even attempt an alignment of labour systems in the EU, which of itself is a potentially unrealistic suggestion, at least in the current political climate, an understanding of the fundamental values which have influenced a country’s approach labour law is vital. Any EU level coordination would require diplomacy and compromise, a full knowledge and understanding of the elements of the systems being the most important tool to guide any such process. To this end, an analysis of the historical context of labour regulation and the working classes will reveal much about the fundamental values upon which labour systems are based and any important differences existing between these values. A typically top down technical analysis would only expose a positivist view of the law, isolated from its constituent parts without which it would not exist in its current form. This unique methodology could then be relied upon as a means finding a path to greater coordination by attempting to align systemic values. This paper does not set out to solve the coordination issues or to press for harmonisation. It aims to explore the origin of the differences between the legal systems to see if there is some way that social, political and historical obstacles can be overcome in order to draw the labour law systems of member states into closer alignment. Using the historic-comparative methodology described above, the proletarianisation of labour which has occurred through industrialisation and following the French Revolution within the UK and France in particular will be examined. The emergence of labour regulation will then be discussed within its socio-cultural, economic and historical context. It is envisaged that an EU with more closely aligned legal systems would improve the effectiveness of cross border commercial enterprises and decrease what opportunities for social dumping may remain.

Keywords: social policy, insolvency, insolvency regulation, employment law, corporate rescue, business rescue

JEL Classification: G3, J8

Suggested Citation

Gant, Jennifer, Proletarianisation, Labour Regulation and Socio-Economic Context in the EU: How Did We Get Here, Where Are We Going and Why? (2013). ‘Proletarianisation, Labour Regulation and Socio-Economic Context in the EU: How did we get here, where are we going and why?’ (Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, Aberdeen Scotland 4th September 2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3842870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3842870

Jennifer Gant (Contact Author)

University of Derby - School of Law and Criminology ( email )

Kedleston Road
Derby, Derbyshire DE22 1GB
United Kingdom

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