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3 The Meaning of Employment from a Private International Perspective

From: Employment Contracts and Private International Law (2nd Edition)

Louise Merrett

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 March 2024

Contractual obligations — Employment contracts — Employment

This chapter examines the meaning of employment from a private international perspective. It begins by outlining the theories behind characterization in private international law generally and, in particular, in European law. Private international law rules in relation to both jurisdiction and choice of law depend crucially on whether there is a contract of employment. Special rules apply in both the Brussels I Regulation recast and the Rome I Regulation to cases involving 'individual contracts of employment'. These rules are now mirrored in domestic law jurisdiction rules in section 15C Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982. The question of whether there is such a contract is a question of characterization. In the case of the European Regulations, because the definition is contained in European legislation, it is characterization in a European context which is at issue and that will have fundamental implications for the approach to be taken. In the case of EU legislation, the Court of Justice has consistently stressed the need for national courts to avoid a narrow domestic approach to construction and adopt a broad autonomous EU approach.

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