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Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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Social Responsibility or Title-Protection?
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Social Responsibility or Title-Protection?

New Laws Regulating “Faked Self-Employment” and Hiring-out of Labor

16 Seiten · 3,50 EUR
(November 2006)

 
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I. Problem:

In public perception typical images of labor relations coexist, which seem to stem from different centuries: on the one hand, there is the exploited worker, whose historically struggled rights are threatened continuously by employers’ maneuvers. On the other hand we can find the “self-entrepreneur” seeking for profitable investment chances for his human capital. Phenomena appearing as an erosion process to the former, are signals of liberation in terms of new working opportunities for the latter.

In this field employment and social welfare policy, firstly, defines the institutional framework and watches its enforcement as a referee; secondly, policymakers intervene unilaterally in the labor market by re-shaping these labor relations. If employment and social security policy does not refrain from the labor market, conflict parties will clamor regularly for

- adapting the regulations to changes in working life, and

- eliminating existing or asserted “abuse” by changing regulations.

The objective of this article is to expose characteristic patterns underlying this field of social conflicts on demands and power positions – in other words, to identify the combatants’ motives and tactics. Attention is also drawn to negative side-effects of the struggle, damages on third parties as well as macroeconomic impacts.

Two case studies point out the problems, strategies and consequences of labor relations regulations with regard to social responsibility versus title-protection, namely “faked self-employment” and hiring-out of labor. Both issues are highly relevant, since new regulation measures have been taken recently. In addition, both cases are characterized by the conflict between labor and capital and, moreover, conflicts within the two groups. Therefore, “social responsibility” gets a new dimension: the emergence of new types of self-employment and agreements between different enterprises, on the one hand, and potential macroeconomic growth, on the other hand.

One remark to the actors’ motives and strategies being analyzed in this article: the focus is on the interests of social groups and institutions being involved in regulating labor relations. Only marginally the question will be discussed why government is getting involved in these conflicts or even triggers disputes, for example, when its own – particularly fiscal – interests are touched (Benkert 2002). In other respects, state is regarded in this article as a neutral institution with legislative power. It is assumed that conflict parties try to influence legislation because formal rules maximize the validity and persistence of the realized status quo. Consequently, it is not the article’s subject to answer the question why conflict parties do not concentrate on their original tasks, i. e. agreements on wages and labor conditions in order to cope with real or assumed problems.

The analysis starts with the problem of “faked self-employment”: Section II scrutinizes the spectrum of motives and conditions of self-employed on the one hand, and the government’s regulating interest on the other hand. Subse¬quently, the relevant Law for Promoting Self-Employment (“Gesetz zur Förde¬rung der Selbständigkeit!”) and its precursor is described. Section III examines the proposals of regulating hiring-out of labor as well as the motives of jobholders, enterprises, state and social partners (labor unions and employers organizations). Finally, section IV draws attention to different dimensions of social responsibility with regard to a modern landscape of labor relations.


zitierfähiger Aufsatz aus ...
Socially Responsible Management
Sabine Bohnet-Joschko, Dirk Schiereck (eds.):
Socially Responsible Management
the author
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Benkert
Wolfgang Benkert

Professor für Wirtschaftpolitik und Finanzwissenschaft, Universität Witten/Herdecke

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