A Key to Comparative Labour Law in Europe

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Antoine T. J. M. Jacobs

The ongoing globalization of the economy and the entanglement of the economies of the EU Member States increasingly make comparisons between the labour law systems in Europe necessary. This book aims to provide a key to such comparative research.

The author, Prof. Antoine Jacobs, is emeritus professor in labour law, social insurance law and social politics at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, where he still teaches a course in Comparative Labour Law.

The aim of this coursebook is to present a satellite view on labour law in Europe, notably of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom. In the United States the most important labour laws have an all USAcharacter. New York, California, Florida etc. have their own labour laws. However, the basic labour and social security law is overwhelmingly uniform from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast. Things are different in Europe. Presumably at least 80% of labour law in Europe is determined by the various States. As a consequence there are still numerous differences between the labour laws of the various countries in Europe. And it is bound to stay so for several more decades, as the EU does not have the ambition to bring about full scale harmonization of labour law in its Member States. However, I believe that – even if harmonization of labour law is not the deliberate objective of the EU – the legal systems of the European countries are in fact getting closer to each other. The countries are looking beyond their national fences and they are often voluntarily adapting their systems to those of their neighboring countries. It is therefore tempting and challenging to study the labour law of the countries in Europe from a comparative perspective.

About the Author

Dr. Antoine T.J.M. Jacobs is emeritus Professor in Labour Law, Social Security Law and Social Policy at the University of Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Born on 30 April 1946, in Vaals (The Netherlands), he took his Master's Degree (cum laude) in law at Leyden University, 1973. Later he studied in Düsseldorf, Paris, Cambridge, Canterbury and Brussels.

He was deputy-secretary on social affairs at the Dutch Merchant Shipping Council (1968--1974) and lecturer in Labour Law and Social Security Law at Tilburg University (1976--1982). In 1986 he obtained his doctorate (cum laude) at the University of Brabant in Tilburg on the right of collective bargaining in European and comparative perspective.

He has written books and articles on Dutch labour and social security law in general, the right to work, the right to strike, discrimination and employment, the direct effect of international norms on Dutch labour and social security law, the influence of ILO norms on Dutch social security law, labour law and social policy of the European Communities, labour law in the German Federal Republic, labour law, employment law and social security law in the USA, Dutch collective labour law, the Dutch law on dismissals and flexible workers, actual developments in Dutch social security law, etc.

He has held the chair of Professor in Labour Law, Social Security Law and Social Policy at Tilburg University from 1987 until 2011. He continued teaching there as well as at the State University of Milano, where he is charged by giving each year an English-language course in European Labour Law.

He has been visiting professor in Montpellier (1993), Bari (1995), Nantes (1996), Leuven (1998), Pavia (2004), has given papers on comparative labour law at international conferences on Labour Law in Cologne, Frankfurt, Komintini (Greece), Fontevreau (France), Tokyo, Barcelona, Montreal, Paris, etc., cooperated with colleagues in other European countries on comparative work and has advised the European Commission and social partners in The Netherlands on matters of labour law and social security law.

He is a member of the Research Network on transnational trade union rights of the European Trade Union Institute.

Published by: Open Press TiU

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