The Notion of Employer in the Era of the Fissured Workplace : Should Labour Law Responsibilities Exceed the Boundary of the Legal Entity?
Roger Blanpain, Frank Hendrickx

The word'fissured'aptly describes the effect on the workplace of the enormous retreat from direct employment on the part of large enterprises that began several decades ago and shows no sign of slowing down. Market-leading companies, even though they continue to wield considerable influence on the fate of actual workers, may thus be relieved of legal responsibility as employers. How extensive is this phenomenon? Do recourses exist in labour law? What ongoing trends can be discerned? This groundbreaking book tackles these questions and more, with thoroughly researched reports from ten of the world's leading market-driven economies - Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recognizing that law should squarely grasp and tackle this new reality, the authors consider such questions as the following: - How far can current labour law go in determining the responsibility of persons who have no direct contractual relationship with the workers? - Do other measures such as soft law or reputation mechanisms in the market deal with the undesirable consequences of the fissurization more properly? - What managerial motives and socioeconomic backgrounds give rise to such fissurization? - What distinct phenomena compose fissuring? - Are measures available to protect workers that go beyond the boundary of the legal entity (e.g., initiatives toward piercing the corporate veil)? Each contributor describes, for his or her country, how far the fragmentation and externalization of employment has gone, current legislation protecting workers in a multilayered contractual relationship or indirect employment relationship (e.g., on health and safety, wages, bargaining, dismissal), and emerging developments and trends. This book ably responds to the question posed by a recent study: Why has work became so bad for so many and what can be done to improve it? Although concerned scholars worldwide will rally to the call, the reports in this volume will also be of great practical value to business persons and labour and employment lawyers everywhere.

Kluwer Law International
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