Research Handbook on EU Labour Law
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Research Handbook on EU Labour Law

Edited by Alan Bogg, Cathryn Costello and A. C.L. Davies

Research Handbook on EU Labour Law features contributions from leading scholars in the field. Part I addresses cross-cutting themes, such as the relationship between EU law and national law, the role of human rights in EU labour law, and the impact of austerity measures. In Part II, the contributors focus on topics in individual and collective labour law at EU level, including working time and job security. Finally, Part III offers a comprehensive overview of the EU’s interventions in equality law.
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Chapter 13: EU migration and asylum law: A labour law perspective

Cathryn Costello


This chapter surveys EU migration and asylum law from a labour law perspective. A labour law perspective is concerned with the work relationship and focuses not only on the worker, but also the employing organisation and any intermediary involved in labour supply. It acknowledges that labour law is a form of labour market regulation, with impacts on the supply and demand for work and workers. Naturally, it is concerned with the right to work and labour rights and the potential for their violation in any work relation. Examining EU migration and asylum law using this multifaceted prism of labour law reveals that EU migration and asylum law has a profound impact on labour law. It should thus command greater attention from EU labour lawyers. That impact may be understood as having three different dimensions. Firstly, migration law affects the supply and demand for migrant workers. In this sense, migration law can be a form of labour market regulation. Secondly, migration and asylum law create different migration statuses that, in turn, determine, at least in part, labour rights. The move to re-introduce status over contract as a determinant of workers’ rights divides the subjects of labour law, as Mark Freedland and I have observed elsewhere. Thirdly, migration status and the fact of migration may be risk factors for labour exploitation. In order to examine these three facets, the particular role of the EU in this field must be explained.

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