Who is an Employer?

WP C.S.D.L.E. “Massimo D’Antona”.INT – 110/2014

Chapter of the forthcoming Research Handbook in Comparative Labor Law, Edward Elgar Publishing, M. W. Finkin and G. Mundlak (ed. by).

The  question who is an employer has different answers. It is particularly possible to distinguish between a single and a plural employer pattern with the former, based on the idea of the employer as a single indivisible entity, traditionally developed in Continental European Countries and the latter adopted in Common Law Countries. The chapter first investigates these two patterns and their historical roots with a particular focus on the traditional prohibition of labor intermediation and on the regulation of agency work. However, in the last decades, the crisis of the vertical firm and the advent of network forms of organization has led to an increasing convergence between these two patterns and to the progressive adoption of a plural employer pattern. Subcontracting and group of companies are two paradigmatic contexts in which this new trends might be observed. Particularly, the boundaries of the employer and of the employment protections do not coincide anymore with the boundaries of the firm but, rather, they involve  different employing entities, strongly integrated via contracts or shares ownership. The Authors conclude that this new paradigm is consistent with the EU  flexicurity perspective. 

author(s): Corazza, Luisa; Razzolini, Orsola
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