The goals of regulating work: Between universalism and selectivity

Guy Davidov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


What are the goals of labour and employment laws? For purposes of reforming, interpreting, and defending such laws, it is important to articulate their goals. This article is concerned with the general goals of regulating work relations (i.e., goals shared by different regulations in this field) at the level of normative justifications. The various goals mentioned in the literature are reviewed and discussed. It is argued that these goals can be classified on a continuum between selective (in the sense of intending to help a specific group - employees) and universal (goals which are seen as advancing the interests of society at large and employers as well). It is argued that a trend can be identified, in recent years, away from selective and toward universal articulations of goals. The difficulties with this trend are then exposed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalUniversity of Toronto Law Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Employment law
  • Labour law
  • Normative justifications
  • Purposive interpretation
  • Universalism


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