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The Concept of 'Worker' in European Labour Law: Fragmentation, Autonomy and Scope

Kountouris, N; (2017) The Concept of 'Worker' in European Labour Law: Fragmentation, Autonomy and Scope. Industrial Law Journal 10.1093/indlaw/dwx014. (In press).

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Abstract

This article offers a critical analysis of the concept of ‘worker’ in European Labour Law as predominantly shaped by the CJEU on the basis of its jurisprudence in the area of free movement of workers. It suggests that, while nominally broad, this concept suffers from many of the strictures arising from the traditional binary divide between employment and self-employment on which it is essentially premised. Having analysed the residual fragmentation and legitimacy problems arising from a rather incomplete development of this area of EU law, the article advocates a broader concept of ‘worker’ shaped by reference to the fundamental rights language embraced by various regional and international labour and human rights mechanisms, including the Social Charter, the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation. The article concludes by identifying a number of possible reform options that may serve the purpose of establishing a suitably broad and autonomous concept of ‘worker’ for the purposes of EU labour law, and by offering a cursory analysis of some recent EU Pillar of Social Rights initiatives.

Type: Article
Title: The Concept of 'Worker' in European Labour Law: Fragmentation, Autonomy and Scope
DOI: 10.1093/indlaw/dwx014
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/indlaw/dwx014
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571889
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