- Decentramento salariale: la regolamentazione e l’uso di clausole di deroga sui salari in sette paesi europei
- Diritto delle Relazioni Industriali
- Pages (from-to)
- Issue number
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)
Decentralising wage setting in times of crisis? The regulation and use of wage-related derogation clauses in seven European countries
The author addresses the issue of wage setting decentralisation from the inter-sectoral to company level through the use of derogation clauses. Sectoral and inter-sectoral level collective agreements are a key feature of industrial relations in most Western European countries. Traditionally inter-sectoral bargaining has had the function of homogenising wages and working conditions for entire sectors or countries, of bringing stability to the relations between workers and employers and of relieving company level actors from engaging in time consuming and possibly conflict-ridden bargaining processes. In recent decades, however, the rationale for such inter-sectoral agreements has been questioned for an advancing globalisation of competition and for a greater requirement from employers of decentralisation and flexibility in the setting of wages and working conditions. A specific form of decentralisation is the opening up of possibilities for companies, through various kinds of derogation clauses (opening clauses, hardship clauses, opt-out clauses, inability-to-pay clauses, etc.), to deviate from pay norms set under inter-sectoral or sectoral agreements when they suffer from temporary economic hardship. The article provides a summary of the results of a comparative study on the regulations, practices and politics of wage derogation clauses in seven EU countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain. It provides a detailed and original contribution to the political and academic debate on labour law and industrial relations.
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