Chapter 17: Fundamental rights broadening the scope of labour law? The example of trainees
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The aim of this chapter is to explore whether the European Charter of Fundamental Rights (ECFR) can improve the protection of trainees by broadening the scope of national labour laws or the labour directives of the European Union (EU), or by creating new labour rights directly applicable to trainees. I argue that, despite the fundamental nature of many important labour rights, the limitations to the application of the ECFR, as well as the restrictive interpretation of its provisions, reduce the ability of the charter to improve the rights of trainees. However, the ECFR is a useful tool for the Court of Justice of the EU to broaden the personal scope of secondary EU legislation, and to contest national limitations to the application of fundamental labour rights. If EU and national labour law provisions were consciously interpreted in the light of fundamental rights, the rights of trainees would improve slightly.

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