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Labour Law and Social Security


Labour law is constantly changing. Concurrently, the laws dealing with workers address fundamental issues which are invariably of major significance and value. The research carried out at the Department of Labour Law and Social Security focusses on both the (constant) changes in labour law and social security law, as well as on the more stable principles in the discipline: compensation for inequality, income protection and activation. Labour law is faced with conflicting interests: on the one hand guaranteeing decent employment and working conditions, and on the other hand the guarantee of work.

Research is carried out in this exciting context: changing labour law in a changing world. Since the Netherlands is not the only country where this situation occurs, the research also addresses international (ILO) and European (EU, ECHR) labour law. How do other countries deal with these tensions, and what is the impact of international and European labour law?

The reform of social legislation

Together with the Department of Economics, the Labour Law Department participates in the research programme Reform of Social Legislation. This research programme investigates the consequences of trends in society for legislation and institutions operating in the field of social security and the labour market. This includes analyses of changes in the division of responsibilities (such as public or private regulations). The change in the reallocation of income via social benefits and taxation and national insurance contributions, and of changes in the aims of social legislation (such as income protection, stimulation of participation in the labour force and stable industrial relations) and the extent to which these aims are achieved. The research addresses analyses of reforms that have been implemented as well as options for reform for the future.

Within the context of the above, department staff have already completed publications on the new employment termination law which became effective on 1 July 2015.  The department was active in the run up to these reforms and in their subsequent evaluation.


European Labour Law

European Labour Law forms a significant part of the research. Together with Professor Waas (Goethe University, Frankfurt),  Professor G.J.J. Heerma van Voss established the European Labour Law Network. This network is made up of national experts from various EU and EEA countries and is a platform for studying the effects of EU law on the various systems and for comparing laws. The ELLN’s activities include developing a reformulation of European labour law.

Professor Barentsen and Dr Erkens are members of  the SOLID project. Together with the departments of Economics, European Law and Criminology, research is carried out into the impact of  (labour) migration on solidarity and institutions operating in the Netherlands and the EU.  The department focusses on protection against labour exploitation, on bogus schemes and the regulation of the cross-border free movement of workers. 


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