We all can see the impact of the coronavirus on labour markets in our daily lives: people stay at home, workers work remotely, if possible we keep social distance, businesses close (some temporarily and others definitively), travel is limited or impossible, there are quarantine measures. The reality of today gives an outlook of the labour…

It cannot be disputed that labour law has served and still serves as the institution that protects the dependent workforce. Yet labour law has also served the purpose to codify the authority of the employers over their employees while, in return, recognising them the entitlement to certain rights they can invoke against the employer itself….

Reflecting on digitalization (as a collective term for artificial intelligence, robotization and new technologies) of the workplace draws out the confused intermingling of outcomes and ambitions. The aims of technological innovations entrench an economic understanding of efficiency, often at the expense of social considerations, which pose significant potential to displace human workers. These aims, as…

Valerio De Stefano,* Ilda Durry,* Harry Stylogiannis,* Mathias Wouters* It started as an investigation into something long dismissed as an urban legend. Finally, even if far too late, the awful scale of the Parisian Ligue du LOL – internationally known as the LOL league – unfolded. Members of a private social media group had ‘cyber-harassed’ people for several years. Some commentators…

Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary © David Mangan

Can an employee be an expert in her work, beyond her employment?  Employees engaged in knowledge or service industries have taken the initiative to also market themselves as leaders in their industries using online sources. Platforms such as LinkedIn may be used. Alternatively, a website that offers industry-specific information may be created by the employee. The…

Policy actors and broad societal and scientific movements from around the world call for action in order to address the problem of climate change. The urgency is beyond doubt. But labour law scholarship, so far and largely speaking, still ignores or barely touches the subject. Furthermore, labour law has not yet developed a real strategy…

Agricultural Industry

The ‘digital agricultural revolution’ and ambitions for technology in the workplace Industry 4.0. This is the name used by the European Parliament in 2015 to describe the convergence of changes in a variety of areas, including ‘the design, manufacture, operation and service of manufacturing systems and products.’ The 4.0 in Industry 4.0 denotes the ‘fourth…

In its judgement of 17 October 2019, in the case of López Ribalda v. Spain, the Grand Chamber Applications nos. 1874/13 and 8567/13) of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) revised the former judgement of the third section of the court. The Court now held that video surveillance of workers did not violate the right to privacy…

In cooperation with the Delegation of the Emilia Romagna Region to the European Union, the Marco Biagi Foundation (University of Modena) organized a conference on “Employment and Jobs beyond 2020: Challenges and Perspectives for the European Union” in Brussels on 10 October 2019. In my presentation, I was invited to focus on “Informal employment”. The…

In a series of earlier entries on this blog, I have argued that all human activity is skilled; work involves the productive use of one’s skills; the most fundamental right in relation to work must be the right to work; an important derivative right thereof is the right to have one’s skills recognised; and the…

This post constitutes the latest in a series of blog posts reflecting on the skilled nature of work. In previous posts, I have argued that work is best characterised as skilled productive activity; that the right to work must be understood as the most fundamental right relating to work; and that an important derivative right…

The recent case of FCO and others v Bamieh [2019] EWCA Civ 803 in the Court of Appeal considered a particular aspect of the extra-territorial application of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“ERA”), namely whether whistleblowing provisions could apply in respect of co-workers employed by the UK government but seconded to the international European Union…

The Regulation establishing the European Labour Authority (‘ELA’) was recently adopted by the European Parliament and the Council and will shortly come into force. It is expected that the ELA will be up and running by the autumn. The ELA is one of many measures which are being introduced as a result of the European…

By Valerio De Stefano & Mathias Wouters    Should digital platforms be allowed to charge fees to workers to work? If ordinary rules were clearly applied to platform work, the answer would be a resounding “No”. Workers should, in theory, never be charged to get work. This norm stems directly from the principle that “labour is…

On 13 June 2019, the EU Council adopted the Directive on Work-Life Balance for Parents and Carers. The Directive was proposed in 2017 and it was one of the key legislative initiatives that the European Commission presented alongside its proposal for the European Pillar of Social Rights. It contains significant enhancements to existing EU legislation,…

Antonio Aloisi, Valerio De Stefano, Six Silberman*  In 2017, Sarah O’Connor of the Financial Times published a sensible plea, gently chiding both doomsayers warning of a “jobless society” and “techno-fantasists” paying breathless homage to a digital future filled with exciting new professions. “We should worry less about the jobs that might be going,” wrote O’Connor—due,…