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Karin Lukas

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Karin Lukas

This chapter introduces the Commentary on the Revised European Social Charter as an up-to-date and comprehensive analysis of this treaty. Its main object is the rich jurisprudence developed by the Charter’s monitoring body, the European Committee of Social Rights until the period of spring 2020. It is meant to be a concise guide to social rights and corresponding human rights obligations of those European states which have ratified the Charter, and is aimed at bridging the gap between the lack of research on the European Social Charter and the need to enhance the enforcement of social rights in Europe.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter explores the structure and implementation of the European Social Charter. It presents the history of the Charter, its development and specific characteristics as well as its implementation procedures. These are the state reporting procedure and the collective complaints procedure. Lastly, this chapter analyses the impact of the European Social Charter in national jurisdictions.

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Karin Lukas

The methodology applied in this Commentary consists of the analysis of primary and secondary sources. The ESC in its revised form of 1996 as well as the conclusions on state reports, the decisions on collective complaints, and the interpretative statements of the Committee are the main sources of information. Moreover, the following primary sources are relevant: the ICESCR, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well as other relevant EU legislation; jurisprudence of the ECtHR and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU); selected General Comments of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR); reports by selected UN Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts. These documents provide insight into specific questions of Charter implementation, such as progressive realisation, interaction with standards of EU law, etc. They are also important sources of interpretation and reference points for the ECSR. The Committee’s interpretation of Charter rights is thus connected to relevant international and European standards which are referenced in a concise form in view of each Charter right in Parts II and III of the Commentary. In terms of secondary sources, relevant academic literature regarding questions of ESCR implementation as well as the case law of the Committee has been analysed. The author refers mainly to the Committee’s interpretation of the Charter which is expressed in its statements of interpretation, conclusions and decisions.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter takes note of the Preamble of the Revised European Social Charter which makes to reference to all rights protected by the Charter. As the legally non-binding part of the Charter, its relevance relates to the objectives expressed therein: facilitating economic and social progress, and realising human rights in their indivisible nature.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter analyses article 1 of the Revised European Social Charter, the right to work. It is one of the core rights of the Charter, and contains four standards: attaining high employment rates; respect of free choice of one’s occupation; free employment services; and the provision of appropriate vocational guidance, training and rehabilitation. The European Committee of Social Rights has developed extensive case law on this right, in particular on free choice of occupation which includes the right not be discriminated against in the labour market.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter analyses article 2 of the Revised European Social Charter, the right to just conditions of work. This right encompasses a wide range of aspects: reasonable working hours, an adequate number of paid holidays, health and safety at work, weekly rest periods, and information about the terms and conditions of the employment relationship.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter analyses article 3 of the Revised European Social Charter, the right to safe and healthy working conditions. The Committee has developed extensive case law on this article. It is looks at a wide range of issues, such as health and safety regulations, work-related accidents, and the number of workplace inspections.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter analyses article 4 of the Revised European Social Charter, the right to fair remuneration. The right to fair remuneration is a central employment right and a cornerstone of the right to an adequate standard of living. It includes the following standards: decent remuneration for the individual and his or her family; increased remuneration for overtime work; equal pay for equal work of men and women; a reasonable notice period for termination of employment; and limitations on wage deductions.

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Karin Lukas

This chapter analyses article 5 of the Revised European Social Charter, the right to organise. Genuine trade union representation is a vital prerequisite for worker protection particularly in difficult economic and political circumstances. The right to organise requires both a positive and a negative state obligation: to enable by legislative and other measures the right to organise; and to refrain from unjustly interfering with this right.