Revisiting the Posted Workers Directive: Conflict of Laws and Laws in Contrast

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The Posted Workers Directive was controversial from the outset, and the recent case law from the Court of Justice has made it even more so. In this chapter, the backdrop, genesis, drafting and adoption of the Posted Workers Directive are first considered in turn in order to place it in its context. The Court of Justice's case law is then considered and contrasted with this background and elaboration of the Directive as it was adopted. The present situation under the Posted Workers Directives is also compared with public international law norms, ILO Conventions and the European Social Charter, and the impact of the Directive in Scandinavia is considered. It is concluded that the case law of the Court of Justice is problematic because of the fact that a normative framework results from its decisions which impinges upon fundamental features of collective labour law and industrial relations: it both entails restrictions on the kinds of terms and conditions of employment which can be imposed, and encroaches upon freedom of collective bargaining more broadly. The autonomy of Member States is also limited and the effectiveness of national industrial relations regimes compromised, which is a highly undesirable outcome.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 3, 2012

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