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Labour Law Reforms in Eastern and Western Europe

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Edited By Tomas Davulis

Recent years in Europe have been marked by efforts to introduce changes in labour law in order to boost employment, reduce labour costs and increase flexibility of national labour markets. The increased international competition has led to major labour law reforms in some European countries but the majority of national developments still indicate a rather limited reformist approach. Evolutionary rather than revolutionary efforts were initiated to balance the wage-setting mechanisms and to soften the dismissal law protection to create room for flexibility, to increase employment by promoting atypical forms of employment, to accommodate legal regulations to technological advances and the new types of economy. Accompanying social security measures intended to improve the efficiency of active labour market policies.

The current selection of academic contributions intends to provide an overview of recent developments in the legal regulation of labour markets in Eastern and Western European countries. The authors’ contributions could not cover all the aspects of the current state of recent reformist efforts on the labour markets. However, by picturing separate developments in different European countries, it intends to assist in identifying regional similarities. Furthermore, it provides opportunities for exchange of ideas, experiences and practices for shaping labour law both at European and national level.

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Labour Law Reforms in Germany (Manfred Weiss)

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Labour Law Reforms in Germany

Manfred WEISS*

Abstract

This paper analyses both individual and collective labour law reforms in Germany. Changes in the regulation of collective bargaining are presented by the amendment on the declaration of general binding collective agreements, the Act on Collective Bargaining Unity, as well as by the introduction of the statutory minimum wage, which has had a strong influence on German collective bargaining. Also, special attention is paid to reforms on the works councils system. In the field of individual labour law, the author considers older reforms on fixed-term contracts and part-time work and their influence on current employment relations. Moreover, the paper focuses on the amendments to temporary work agreements and on the bill proposed to avoid fake independent work.

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