Using Procurement Law to Enforce Labour Standards

Catherine Barnard

in The Idea of Labour Law

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693610
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729744 | DOI:
Using Procurement Law to Enforce Labour Standards

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This chapter focuses on an increasingly important avenue for trying to enforce—and possibly improve upon—labour standards, namely public procurement. It looks primarily at the EU rules on procurement to see how much—if any—scope there is for including ‘social clauses’ ie clauses which require tenderers to respect certain terms and conditions of employment. While the decisions in Laval and Rüffert appear to narrow the scope for imposing such clauses in the context of free movement of services, Commission v Germany (occupational pensions) might offer some more room for manoeuvre in the field of public procurement more generally. The chapter concludes with a brief examination of the scope for contractors voluntarily to assume additional commitments, taking as an example the London Living Wage campaign.

Keywords: public procurement; social clause; Laval; Commission v. Germany (occupational pensions); London living wage

Chapter.  8197 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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