International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations

Volume 32 (2016)

Volume 32 (2016) / Issue 2

Petra Herzfeld Olsson, 'Possible Shielding Effects of Article 27 on Workers’ Rights to Information and Consultation in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights' (2016) 32 International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Issue 2, pp. 251–273

Abstract

A number of EU directives as well as Article 27 in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) deal with workers’ rights to information and consultation in the undertaking. In this article, the added value of including such rights in the EU CFR is discussed. For this purpose, three issues relevant for the interpretation of Article 27 will be addressed. First, to what extent is the rights/principles distinction in the CFR relevant for the legal implications of Article 27 CFR? Second, what conclusions can be drawn from the wording of the Article? Third, what is the impact of the context, or rather to what extent should the development and recognition of rights to information and consultation within other parts of EU law and in the Revised European Social Charter (RESC), affect the interpretation of Article 27 CFR? Two hypothetical situations are examined to establish whether any added value can be detected. The first considers the extent to which Article 27 can act as a shield against attempts by the EU legislator to restrict rights to information and consultation in the existing secondary EU legislation. The second investigates to what extent Article 27 can act as a shield against attempts to restrict national legislation on information and consultation with the support of, for example, Article 16 CFR on Freedom to conduct a business. It is argued that the content of Article 21 RESC should be taken into account when the content of Article 27 is invoked, and that the legality of the restrictions discussed in the hypothetical situations depends on whether they will pass the justification test provided in Article 52.1 CFR. When applying those suggestions, it seems that Article 27 can play a significant role in safeguarding worker’s rights to information and consultation within the EU.

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ISSN: 0952-617X
ID: IJCL2016013