Journal Article

Flexibility and stability of expectations in the contract of employment

Hugh Collins

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 4, issue 1, pages 139-153
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/SER/mwj036
Flexibility and stability of expectations in the contract of employment

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  • Moral Philosophy
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The law stabilizes transactional relations by protecting the implicit expectations of the parties to contracts by various techniques including the imposition of mandatory and supplementary rules. The established pattern in the contract of employment of the protection of expectations of co-operation from the employee and fair treatment by the employer has come under strain as a consequence of the employer's increasing expectations of functional flexibility and entrepreneurial activity on the part of the employee. In order to protect these new expectations with regard to the indeterminacy and impermanence of employment, communication and consultation, and incentive-based payment systems, legal systems need to evolve new normative standards that can articulate and stabilize these new forms of employment relations. Using the model of symbiotic contracts as a paradigm, the essay explores what normative standards and regulatory techniques will be appropriate to stabilize and protect new flexible employment relations. The primary objective of this regulation is to secure fair treatment for employees so that they will be willing to co-operate with new flexible forms of employment, which in turn should promote competitiveness.

Keywords: contract; employment; flexibility; symbiotic contract; JEL classification: J41, K12, K31

Journal Article.  5994 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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