Labour migration is an essential feature of a globalized economy. Businesses not only recruit employees from the local labour market, but increasingly from foreign labour markets too. They also second their own workforce to other countries when offering their services cross the borders or they transfer staff to branches in other countries. Individual workers and self-employed persons apply for or accept jobs in foreign countries or migrate to another country to find work opportunities there. States set up programs to attract foreign workers in order to fill in shortages on their labour market. The European Union even created the right to free movement for workers, specifically intended for nationals of its Member States.
This course deals with the legal issues raised by such international employment. It focuses on labour migration law as well as on the employment and social rights and obligations of both employees and employers in such an international and cross-border context. It studies the multitude of legal sources relevant to these issues.
First, it will deal with labour migration instruments regulating the access to the labour markets for nationals of other states. It will focus in particular on the European Union instruments regulating the free movement of EU workers and on the immigration of third-country nationals.
Next, the course will examine the employment and social rights of labour migrants. These rights are, in the first place, determined by national law, which is applied territorially and in principle without discrimination on grounds of nationality. The territorial application and the principle of equal treatment are supported by European and international law but in some cases European and international law overrules them. With regard to EU law, the course will deal with a series of legal instruments regulating labour migration within the EU (free movement of workers, posting of workers, social security coordination, private international law) as well as from third countries (labour migration directives as well as agreements with third countries). It will also examine international instruments which have an impact on the legal status of labour migrants, in particular the instruments of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and international human rights instruments.
This course will study in depth these different legal instruments and their impact on labour migration and the rights and obligations of employees and employers in cross border situations. It will also analyse the case law of national, European and internationals courts in this respect.