Re-Matching Labour Laws with Their Purpose

Guy Davidov*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

7 Scopus citations


The crisis of labour law is not the result of any change in our goals. It is rather a mismatch between some labour laws (legislation and case-law) and these goals, created by changing realities. This chapter takes a 'bottom-up' approach that starts from examining problems with the actual application of labour laws, as encountered by workers in many countries. The chapter's aim is to show that for purposes of determining the scope of labour law as well as updating labour laws in light of changing employment practises, it is useful to focus on the characteristics showing the vulnerability of employees vis-àvis their employers. At least for these purposes, then, the chapter argues in favour of a functional view of the idea of labour law. It is not that the ultimate goals and the general deficiencies of labour markets are not important or incorrect. They are simply less useful when one is trying to address actual problems that are so prevalent, concerning the growing irrelevance of labour law for many workers around the world. For such purposes we should look more directly at the factual situation (specific vulnerabilities) that labour laws are designed to address. Then we can try to ensure that our labour laws are indeed covering the workers within this factual situation.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Idea of Labour Law
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191729744
ISBN (Print)9780199693610
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The several contributors, 2011. All rights reserved.


  • Application of labour law
  • Employment vulnerabilities
  • Goals of labour law
  • Levels of generalization
  • Scope of labour law


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