Chapter 11: Work experience, the contract of employment and the scope of labour law: The United Kingdom and Australia compared
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This chapter uses the common law of Australia and the United Kingdom to assess what the regulation of internships can tell us about the scope and limits of labour law. In these and most other countries, the employment relationship is the touchstone for the protection of labour law, with employees usually distinguished from independent contractors. But some legal systems also deploy a purposive test that results in a regulatory separation of work from education or welfare, and a failure to protect those undertaking internships or traineeships. The chapter argues that for labour law to fulfil its purpose, a normative approach is needed which acknowledges that human rights standards should apply to all workers regardless of their employment status, which respects the fundamental principle that labour is not a commodity, and which seeks to ensure decent work for all.

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