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The Contract of Employment$
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Mark Freedland, Alan Bogg, David Cabrelli, Hugh Collins, Nicola Countouris, A.C.L. Davies, Simon Deakin, and Jeremias Prassl

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198783169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783169.001.0001

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The Contract of Employment, Corporate Law, and Labour Income

The Contract of Employment, Corporate Law, and Labour Income

Chapter:
(p.253) 12 The Contract of Employment, Corporate Law, and Labour Income
Source:
The Contract of Employment
Author(s):

Wanjiru Njoya

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198783169.003.0012

This chapter examines the role played by the contract of employment in wage distribution and income inequality, distinguishing between the ordinary entitlement to ‘labour income’ and the finance-derived entitlement to ‘capital income’ linked to share value. The chapter aims to expose the interplay between contract and status in the quantification of income, a differentiation that may be seen as a reinvention of the old divides associated with the master-servant regime. Senior corporate managers, as quasi-partners in the firm, are able to access the residual profit of the firm through bonuses and stock options while most employees are entitled only to a fixed-rate wage. The chapter draws upon insights from corporate law to theorize not only the inequalities between different kinds of employment status but also the way in which those inequalities have been masked by a habit of regarding the contract of employment as a basically homogenous contract-type.

Keywords:   Wage distribution, income inequality, employment status, corporate law, labour income, capital income

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