Distributive Justice and Labour Law

Guy Davidov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Redistribution is considered one of the main goals of labour law. When we refer to redistribution as a goal, we usually do so, implicitly, as shorthand for distributive justice. The goal of this chapter is to explore theories of distributive justice, and ask to what extent current labour laws are in line with those ideas, and what else can (or should) labour law do to advance this goal. Several theories are examined: that distributive justice should be based on ‘desert’; theories of distributional equality-notably, luck egalitarianism-which demand redistribution in order to achieve equality in distribution; and theories of redistribution as instrumental to the advancement of equality. At the end of each section, the possible implications for labour law are briefly considered, both in terms of employer-employee relations and in terms of intra-worker distribution. The question will be: what kinds of labour market regulations (if at all) can be supported by each distributive justice theory? Specifically, to what extent do these theories justify existing labour laws? Then in the concluding section some remarks are offered on one area that requires new labour law regulations to address distributive justice concerns: in the light of the previous sections, several steps are suggested that should be taken to address divisions in two-tier and dual labour markets.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPhilosophical Foundations of Labour Law
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780198825272
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The several contributors 2018.


  • Desert
  • Distributive justice
  • Dual labour markets
  • Intra-worker distribution
  • Luck egalitarianism
  • Relational equality
  • Two-tier labour agreements

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