Lesson 1: The Meaning of Labour Law

AutorPilar Núñez-Cortés Contreras
Cargo del AutorProfesora Titular de Área. Universidad Loyola Andalucía

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1. Introduction

In this lesson, we are revising what labour law is and the relationships it regulates. The relationships which are regulated by labour law are called labour relations. Usually, these are gainful and dependent services. Additionally the concept of self-employed workers is analyzed.

2. The notion and scope of labour law

It is a legal order that regulates labour relations.

3. Goal of labour legislation

The protection of employees has always been the main goal of labour law since employees are the weaker of the two parties in a labour contract.

4. Scope of labour law

It is a legal order that regulates labour relations.

4.1. Labour relations

Labour relations consist of services which are personal, voluntarily assumed, gainful and dependent.

a.) Personal

Only a human being can be "the employee" in a labour contract.

b.) Voluntarily assumed

The labour contract is derived from agreement of the two parties ("the employer" and "the employee").

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c.) Gainful

The employee receives an economical compensation for his/her services. This compensation is called "salary".

d.) Dependent

The employee is subjected to the guiding and disciplinary power of the employer.

Professions such as telephone operators, waiters, cooks or secretaries are examples of labour relations. Individual labour relations in Spain are regulated by the Employee's Statute (ES). Its original version was passed in 1980.

5. Self-employed workers

A "contract for services" consists of a contract which one of the parties undertakes to provide a service to the other one for a certain price. The modern exercise of liberal professions fits into this contract.

Examples: Doctors, economists, lawyers, etc.

Contract for services

It has all the features of a labour relation but it is an independent service. Its main features are: Substantial autonomy, lack of exclusivity and self-organization. The mentioned elements exclude these workers from the labour law. This relationship is regulated by the Statute of Self-Employed Workers 2007 (SEW).

6. Conclusions

Labour law is the legal system that provides the best protection for employees. This legal system regulates the mentioned services, also...

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