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34 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol'y J. 21 (2012-2013)
The Legal Determinants of Precariousness in Personal Work Relations: A European Perspective

handle is hein.journals/cllpj34 and id is 29 raw text is: THE LEGAL DETERMINANTS OF
PRECARIOUSNESS IN PERSONAL WORK
RELATIONS: A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE
Nicola Kountourist
I.     INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this Article is to provide a legal conceptual framework
for the analysis of the concept of precarious work, or more precisely the
concept of precariousness in work relations. This objective will be pursued
in three main stages. The Article begins by providing a broad distinction
between three main theoretical approaches to the conceptualization of
precariousness in work relations, one primarily seeing precariousness as
inherently associated with work relations in particular sectors of the labor
market characterized by the high presence of casual labor, a second
approach that essentially identifies it as any form of atypical or
nonstandard  work   that departs from    the  standard  employment
relationship (stereo-)type and a third one, that recognizes it as a
multifaceted phenomenon, which while inherently linked to particular
sectors of the labor market and particular forms of nonstandard work,
spans beyond these labor market niches and increasingly affects what
have been long considered mainstream, secure, and typical work relations.
The subsequent Part III moves onto a more detailed level of analysis and
seeks to identify the main legal factors that, together or in isolation, can
contribute to rendering work relations-any work relation-inherently
precarious. This Part is based on what is perhaps the central argument of
the present Article, that is to say suggesting that precariousness is no
longer, if it ever was, an exclusive feature of atypical work, but rather a
dynamic, a trend, based on a number of fairly discernible legal features-
f Reader in Law and the Faculty of Laws of University College London. An earlier draft of this
Article was presented at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem symposium on Precarious Work and
Human Rights, in May 2011. Some of the ideas discussed in this Article are the product of research
work carried out jointly with Professor Mark Freedland and now appear in the publication MARK
FREEDLAND & NICOLA KOUNTOURIS, THE LEGAL CONSTRUCTION OF PERSONAL WORK RELATIONS
(2011). I am grateful to Professors Guy Davidov, Judy Fudge, and Dr. Einat Albin for their invaluable
comments and insights. All views expressed here are those of the author, who remains the sole
responsible for any opinions or omissions.

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