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A Purposive Approach to Labour Law$
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Guy Davidov

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759034.001.0001

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The Idea of Labour Law as Addressing Vulnerabilities or Labour Market ‘Problems’

The Idea of Labour Law as Addressing Vulnerabilities or Labour Market ‘Problems’

(p.34) 3 The Idea of Labour Law as Addressing Vulnerabilities or Labour Market ‘Problems’
A Purposive Approach to Labour Law

Guy Davidov

Oxford University Press

This chapter articulates the unique characteristics of employment relations. It explains in what sense employer–employee relations are different from client–independent contractor relations. Employment is characterized by two inherent vulnerabilities: democratic deficits (subordination, broadly conceived) and dependency (for economic as well as social-psychological needs). These vulnerabilities explain the need for labour laws. The chapter proceeds to consider two additional ideas that share a similar structure, i.e. seeing labour law as a response to a ‘labour problem’. One is the prevalence of market failures and the other is inequality of bargaining power. It is argued that both concepts are useful as well, but only to a limited extent.

Keywords:   vulnerabilities, subordination, democratic deficits, dependency, labour problem, unequal bargaining power, market failures

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