'Job Security in a Flexible Labour Market: Challenges and
Possibilities for Worker Voice' (2012) 33 Comparative Labor Law and Policy
Journal 459-480. ISSN 1095-6654.
The diverse needs and preferences of workers in modern firms present intractable challenges for the law and policy of employment protection. It would be unduly simplistic to assume that workers automatically prioritize job security, or that employers would invariably benefit from the ability to dismiss workers at will. No single prescriptive foundation or goal for legislation regulating dismissals can achieve just or efficient outcomes for both parties, particularly in the context of dismissals for economic reasons. In this context the case for job security is supported by the lack of any ‘fault’ on the part of the employees, but the employer is typically under financial constraints which make restructuring imperative. This article considers the extent to which greater reliance on worker voice through employee participation in decision-making during corporate restructuring would allow diverse and context-specific interpretations of flexibility and job security to be effectively implemented. The aim is to identify a balance between flexibility and security which is economically sustainable as well as socially desirable.
'Employee Ownership in the European Company: Reflexive Law,
Reincorporation and Escaping Codetermination' (2011) 11 Journal of Corporate
Law Studies; Centre for Business Research
Working Paper WP416
This article assesses the effects of reincorporation on
codetermination, focusing on the scope for escaping codetermination
by restructuring under the European Company (SE). This is usually
associated with the prospect of corporate flight from codetermined
jurisdictions. The article presents an alternative possibility,
arguing that because the self-regulatory framework of employee
participation in the SE encourages diversity and experimentation, it
does not inevitably erode the institution of codetermination. Viewed
within a framework of reflexive harmonization, the effects on
codetermination are better understood as part of an open-ended
process of evolution in the ownership and control structures of the
firm. This points to the potential for codetermination to become
more, rather than less, integrated as part of the ownership
landscape of European firms.
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'The Legal Framework of Employment Relations' (with Simon
Deakin) in P. Blyton, N. Bacon, J. Fiorito and E. Heery (eds), Handbook of
Industrial Relations (Sage 2008); Centre for Business Research Working
The aim of this paper is to reassess the place of labour law in
the wider area of employment relations research and to argue the case for labour
law's importance to social scientists. We give an analytical account of the
principal institutional features of labour law as a form of legal regulation,
from an interdisciplinary perspective which takes into account both the internal
workings of the labour law system and the social and economic context within
which it has evolved. We analyze, in the manner of an internal or 'immanent'
critique, the categories which are generally used within labour law discourse to
describe the social and economic relations of employment; account for their
emergence and evolution in historical terms; consider the origins of their
diversity across different national systems; and look at future prospects for
convergence or divergence.
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Property in Work: The Employment Relationship in the
Anglo-American Firm (Ashgate Publishing, 2007)
The notion of property in work has deep historical roots in the common law
tradition, but is yet to receive the attention it deserves. In this timely and
thought-provoking book, Wanjiru Njoya contrasts ideas of ownership and property
rights in English, American and European labour law, and considers their
practical implications. The author's contention that shared ownership within a
stakeholder theory of the firm allows better protection of both shareholders'
and employees' interests in the large public corporation, puts
employee-participation firmly back on the corporate governance agenda. The book
offers a refreshing new perspective on how a more socially desirable balance
between economic flexibility and job security may be achieved.
click here for publisher's site