The Structure of a Republican Labour Law
New Perspectives on Worker Subordination International Symposium, 4 November 2022
28 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2022 Last revised: 10 Nov 2022
Date Written: November 4, 2022
One of the central problems for many academic employment and labour lawyers has always been and will likely remain the inequality of bargaining power inherent in the employment relationship. The most significant manifestation of this problem lies in the subordination of the worker to the so-called ‘managerial prerogative’. This paper seeks to reassess this problem in the light of recent work in the theory of practical reason and jurisprudential and political philosophical work on the theoretical foundations of employment and labour law. Drawing in particular on this author’s earlier work, the paper suggests that the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination can illuminate with great clarity the problem of subordination in the employment relationship and its implications for the structure of a republican labour law. In particular, it can be used to identify the outline of part of a legal right to subordination.
Keywords: consequentialism, practical reason, Joseph Raz, republicanism, freedom as non-domination, Philip Pettit, employment and labour law, managerial prerogative, subordination, Hugh Collins, rights
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