The essay seeks to frame the issue of Decent Work for All by means of Hannah Arendt’s conception of freedom and liberty. In Arendt’s view, liberty was the proper rationale for early labour legislation, which purported to liberate the individual from the chattels of slavery and exploitation by preserving the voluntary nature of the agreement to provide labour. In the stage of full development of labour law, a primary need in both Liberal Market Economies (such as the US) and Social Market Economies (such as Germany) was to strike a difficult but necessary balance between the employer’s liberty to conduct the business and the workers’ collective freedom. With the promotion of Decent Work, as a broad guideline for policymakers and not a binding regulation of any kind, labour law is reconsidering its focus on the person, with the aim of granting individuals the possibility to achieve their (neo)liberation from basic economic needs, as well as from the domination of others. Once liberated from those two constraints, individuals are in a position to effectively aspire to the collective dimension of freedom, which, in Arendt’s terms, consists of the possibility of the individual to contribute on an equal footing to societal development.

An Essay on Liberty, Freedom and (Decent) Work / M. Biasi. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LABOUR LAW AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS. - ISSN 1875-838X. - 38:3(2022), pp. 359-380. [10.54648/ijcl2022016]

An Essay on Liberty, Freedom and (Decent) Work

M. Biasi
2022

Abstract

The essay seeks to frame the issue of Decent Work for All by means of Hannah Arendt’s conception of freedom and liberty. In Arendt’s view, liberty was the proper rationale for early labour legislation, which purported to liberate the individual from the chattels of slavery and exploitation by preserving the voluntary nature of the agreement to provide labour. In the stage of full development of labour law, a primary need in both Liberal Market Economies (such as the US) and Social Market Economies (such as Germany) was to strike a difficult but necessary balance between the employer’s liberty to conduct the business and the workers’ collective freedom. With the promotion of Decent Work, as a broad guideline for policymakers and not a binding regulation of any kind, labour law is reconsidering its focus on the person, with the aim of granting individuals the possibility to achieve their (neo)liberation from basic economic needs, as well as from the domination of others. Once liberated from those two constraints, individuals are in a position to effectively aspire to the collective dimension of freedom, which, in Arendt’s terms, consists of the possibility of the individual to contribute on an equal footing to societal development.
Liberty; Freedom; Decent Work; Neo-Liberation
Settore IUS/07 - Diritto del Lavoro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/936566
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