Trends toward 'individualization' of labour law1

Author:Raluca Dimitriu
Position:Law Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies

The paper aims to identify the trends of labor law to return to the individual and the impact of such trends on the trade unionism and collective relations. Because, i n relation to the trend of increased individual aspects of labor law, manifested in many fields, it appears legitimate the question: does the collectivist paradigm still meet the postmodern industrial relations? The question is... (see full summary)

Trends toward „individualization” of labour law
Professor Raluca DIMITRIU
Abstrac t
The p aper aims t o ident ify th e trends of labor law to retu rn to the indi vidual an d
the impac t o f such trends on t he trade unio nism and coll ective relations. Because, in
relati on to the trend of increase d indivi dual aspects of labor law , manifested in many field s,
it app ears legiti mate the qu estion: does the colle ctivist parad igm still meet the p ostmodern
indu strial relat ions? The questi on is espe cially rele vant in the c ontext of a difficult
communica tion of trade unio ns with society as a who le, and also in th e context of increase d
competi tive rel ationshi p bet ween e mploye es - factors likely to hin der the scope of tra de
unio ns and even the co llective di mension of labo r law . The pap er aims at finding an swers,
perhap s even useful in shap ing the future l abor law.
Keywords: labou r law; unioni sm; employment co ntract; work ers
JEL Cla ssification: K31,
1. Preliminary remarks
In a postmodern world, where knowledge areas increasingly tend to
address the individual and not groups of individuals, labour law theory seems to
show in turn a new configuration. Indeed, "standard" employment contracts are
often replaced with atypical contracts, which are specific and tailored to the
individual needs of the employee or to the production requirements of the employer
and the employees themselves are no longer speaking with one voice, they are no
longer being driven by identical interests, but take advantage of a wide variety of
possibilities and aspirations. It it still possible to cover all these satisfactorily and in
full in a collective labour agreement? Today, in an era of individualism, an
approach centred on the collective labour agreement, which involves expression by
employees of shared choices in relation to the employer, no longer seems to fully
cover the need for regulation.
The young, people at the end of their careers, people with disabilities, sole
providers for their families etc. - have their own options in negotiating the
employment contract, not necessarily identical with those of their peers. Moreover,
these interests are not only different but sometimes even contradictory. For
example, the establishment of social criteria for selecting employees prior to
This art icle w as submitt ed to 6th International Conference “Perspectives of Business Law in the
Third M illennium”, 25 -26 November 2016, t he Bucharest University of Economic Studies,
Bucharest, Romania.
Raluca Dimitriu - Law Department, Bucharest University of Economic Studies,

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