Precarious Work, Regulation and Labour Standards in Times of Crisis
2010 (English)Report (Other academic)
The increase in labour precarity which has accompanied the global economic and financial crisis is itself part of a longer term historical trend towards the increasing vulnerability of labour through the growth of precarious and contingent forms of employment (Frade and Darmon, 2005). This has two elements that are especially relevant in the current economic downturn and its aftermath: 1. The immediate impact of crisis on regulated labour standards in general, that is, on employment protection, regulation and enforcement 2. The longer-term role crisis-induced migration flows in accelerating labour precarity on a European and transnational scale. Both these issues need to be seen against fundamental changes in the architecture of European labour rights and the diminishing regulatory reach of labour law as it seeks to accommodate the competitiveness agenda of the European Commission in promoting greater labour “flexibility” and an “individualisation” of employment rights. Yet the contemporary political economy of capitalism, not least, its spectacular regulatory failure, has placed the issue of the renewal of regulation back on the agenda of governments and supranational agencies. If capital needs regulation to control its financial excesses, an inescapable conclusion that the European Union and its member state governments appear to recognise, the need is at least equal for regulation to control the harms which capital directly perpetrates on labour at both a national and supra-national level. In this context, claims for effective labour standards pose a public policy imperative of devising protective regulatory strategies to counter precarity, not least those aspects of precarity heightened by the crisis. The challenge is to address the socially imperative task of “re-protecting” the “un-protected” in an increasingly globalised and insecure labour market.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 14 p.
ThemES - Themes on Migration and Ethnic Studies, ISSN 1651-8306 ; 34
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-64297OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-64297DiVA: diva2:389010