Labour law struggles to deal with the vertical disintegration of the enterprise, a phenomenon that questions the traditional bilateral and contractual analysis of the employment relationship and the unitary concept of the employer. Multiple employer patterns have been proposed by the Italian and English scholarship to try to sidestep the current impasse. However, these seem to be inconsistent with the existing legal framework and, in addition, it is debatable that they can be always instrumental in addressing the issues arising from the vertical disintegration of the enterprise. Nevertheless, an alternative and more nuanced analytical path can be followed. Labour law mostly takes the view that the employer is the contractual counterparty to the employee. Yet it also recognises that other entities can assume certain responsibilities of the employer in certain specific regulatory domains, where legislators recur to particular regulatory strategies often independent of a contractual analysis of the employment relationship. This article argues that the law takes this step not because these other legal entities are functionally akin to employers, but precisely in spite of the differences between them and the employer form. Rather than seeking to redefine the concept of employer, a better understanding of the subject must recognise that employment law consists of a kaleidoscopic blend of different regulatory domains, characterised by a range of different purposes, the achievement of which requires the adoption of different and even non-contractual normative tools. Adopting a variable geometry approach to frame the scope of labour laws would constitute a better analytical response to potentially restore the coherence and completeness of the scope of employment protective norms.

Adapting Labour Law to Complex Organisational Settings of the Enterprise: Why Rethinking the Concept of the Employer is Not Enough

Gaudio, Giovanni
2021

Abstract

Labour law struggles to deal with the vertical disintegration of the enterprise, a phenomenon that questions the traditional bilateral and contractual analysis of the employment relationship and the unitary concept of the employer. Multiple employer patterns have been proposed by the Italian and English scholarship to try to sidestep the current impasse. However, these seem to be inconsistent with the existing legal framework and, in addition, it is debatable that they can be always instrumental in addressing the issues arising from the vertical disintegration of the enterprise. Nevertheless, an alternative and more nuanced analytical path can be followed. Labour law mostly takes the view that the employer is the contractual counterparty to the employee. Yet it also recognises that other entities can assume certain responsibilities of the employer in certain specific regulatory domains, where legislators recur to particular regulatory strategies often independent of a contractual analysis of the employment relationship. This article argues that the law takes this step not because these other legal entities are functionally akin to employers, but precisely in spite of the differences between them and the employer form. Rather than seeking to redefine the concept of employer, a better understanding of the subject must recognise that employment law consists of a kaleidoscopic blend of different regulatory domains, characterised by a range of different purposes, the achievement of which requires the adoption of different and even non-contractual normative tools. Adopting a variable geometry approach to frame the scope of labour laws would constitute a better analytical response to potentially restore the coherence and completeness of the scope of employment protective norms.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3725148
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