The comparative evolution of the employment relationship
It is widely believed that the legal institution of the contract of employment is currently undergoing a conceptual crisis as a result of changes in labour markets, the organisation of production, and the form of the enterprise. A historical and comparative perspective, however, indicates that conceptual crises of this kind are nothing new, and have occurred periodically in the systems of western Europe since the industrial revolution. The employment form serves important functions in a market economy even in an era of deregulation and liberalization, and is unlikely to be replaced by a radically new model in the near future.
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