Collective Bargaining for Self-Employed Workers in Europe : Approaches to Reconcile Competition Law and Labour Rights
Bernd Waas, Christina Hießl

Collective Bargaining for Self-Employed Workers in Europe Approaches to Reconcile Competition Law and Labour Rights Founding Editor: Roger Blanpain General Editor: Frank Hendrickx Edited by Bernd Waas & Christina Hießl The increase in the number of self-employed workers, partially in response to the advent of the platform economy, has raised the spectre of horizontal price-fixing by self-employed members of a profession. This perception, however, is at odds with international labour standards, under which self-employed persons should also be able to conclude collective agreements to some extent. It is now commonplace for companies to offer various forms of non-standard employment that shift risk from the labour engager to the labour provider – which may increase the likelihood of those workers to fall outside the legal concept of ‘employee'and because of that affects their legal protection. Legal practitioners may then face a dilemma: what may be required under labour law may be prohibited under antitrust law. In the first comprehensive analysis of these intensely debated issues, the authors argue that there is an urgent need to address the current legal puzzle, including through regulatory measures. This must include, in particular, the existing regulation at the level of the European Union (EU), which dominates competition law in the Member States. The book combines an analysis of the supranational framework by experts in labour law as well as competition law with in-depth country reports from Member States of the EU in which regulations and/or practices of collective bargaining for the self-employed exist. Among the many issues discussed in this book are the following: collective bargaining and international labour rights; self-employed individuals and the concept of undertaking in EU competition law; the concept of ‘social dumping'; the importance of the case law of the European Court of Justice; the concept of ‘vulnerability'; competition authorities'enforcement strategies and priorities; the concept of ‘false self-employed'; and the possible introduction of exemptions, presumptions, safe harbours, or smart regulation solutions in competition law. The book gives an insight into the legal situation in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. These reports discuss the current practice of collective bargaining and how the current law is reflected in the academic discourse on the right of self-employed people to bargain collectively. This important book, in its presentation of legally sound and effective ways to shape the application of the right to bargain collectively that are attuned to the business and technological realities of the twenty-first century, promotes an understanding of the consequences for current law and practice and offers a basis for a discussion of regulatory measures addressing existing challenges. Practitioners of labour law and competition law, national competition authorities, and other interested parties will benefit from the detailed analysis and extensive findings.

Kluwer Law International
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