The Far-Reaching Implications of the Laval Quartet: The Case of the UK Living Wage

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Abstract

The decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the Laval quartet called in question the diversity of labour law rules and industrial relations systems at national level and brought the issue of the interaction between economic freedoms and social rights in the EU into political focus. Among these cases, Rüffert signalled not only a change in the interpretation of the Posted Workers Directive but also provided evidence of some reconsideration by the CJEU of the incorporation of social clauses in public procurement. Against this context, the paper examines the implications of the CJEU case law for the UK Living Wage. While Rüffert and more recent developments in EU procurement law could have led to a retraction from the support of the campaign, there is evidence of significant consolidation and even further promotion of the living wage in the UK. This may be attributed to the concerted efforts of non-judicial actors to respond to the challenges to the campaign following Rüffert as well to recent developments in UK procurement law that provide for a more supportive reading of living wage clauses in public procurement.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-121
JournalIndustrial Law Journal
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2014

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