Reflexive Labour Law in the World Society

Reflexive Labour Law in the World Society

Ralf Rogowski

Reflexive Labour Law in the World Society investigates trends in labour and employment law from the perspective of modern social systems theory. It uses Niklas Luhmann’s theory of the world society and Gunther Teubner’s reflexive law concept for an analysis of modern employment law and industrial relations. Areas investigated include: reflexive employment protection; the reflexive regulation and deregulation of labour market policies and labour law; reflexivity in labour and employment conflict resolution; reflexive coordination and implementation of EU social and employment law; and reflexive global labour law.

Chapter 9: Reflexive implementation of EU employment law – a case study of the Working Time Directive

Ralf Rogowski

Subjects: law - academic, european law, labour, employment law, law and society, social policy and sociology, labour policy


The assessment of the European Working Time Directive (WTD) and its implementation will be used in the following as an example for an analysis of reflexive trends in the governance of the European Union. The WTD can serve as a model of legislation enacted under the so-called community method of governance. The analysis of the WTD and its implementation reveals strengths and weaknesses in the current system of regulation of the European Union. The analysis proceeds in five steps. The first section contains a short account of the community method and European labour law. The second section gives a brief overview of the main features and structural deficits of the community method in regulating labour law from a reflexive labour law perspective. The third section outlines the Working Time Directive and efforts to reform it. Section four presents results on implementation of the WTD in four member states of the EU. The final section draws conclusions from the case studies for a discussion of reflexive elements of the community method as a method of governance.

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