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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’

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

Guy Davidov

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759034.003.0003

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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