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N°175 ( 2021)

English Abstracts

The decline of works council elections: the legislator to the rescue ?


The works council (Betriebsrat) has a long and venerable history of social legitimacy. But since the 1990s, its influence has been waning. In the former East Germany, works councils have never become as prevalent as in the West. In the old Länder, the percentage of employees covered by a works council has fallen ten points since 1996, to only 41%. The Works Council Modernization Act, passed in May 2021, addresses some of the union demands aimed at securing and facilitating works council elections.

Keywords: Germany, works council, election, Works Council Modernization Act.

The Covid-19 pandemic and union mobilisation of art workers: the Support Art Workers initiative


In Greece, the novel coronavirus crisis has shown up the vulnerability and precariousness of art workers. Government measures, often poorly adapted to the specificities of the sector, have led to discontent among workers and unions. They have also given rise to collective action initiatives such as Support Art Workers(SAW).

Keywords: Greece, COVID-19, art workers, collective action, mobilisation, Support Art Workers.

The legal line between employees and freelancers: current debates

Hiromasa SUZUKI

The growth of sub-contracting and the appearance of new jobs linked to digital platforms are blurring the line between employees and the self-employed in Japan. To settle the legal questions surrounding this blurring, and to protect self-employed individuals, the Ministry of Health, Work and Well-being has tasked two groups of experts with drawing up a road map for public authorities.

Keywords: Japan, employee, self-employed, freelancer, legal line, protection of freelancers, group of experts.

The interaction between early years childcare options and parental leave: a factor in childcare inequality


The level of social inequality in accessing early years childcare options varies a great deal between countries. This article analyses how these inequalities can be explained by the interaction between childcare options and parental leave, by comparing the situation in France with those of Sweden and Germany. It demonstrates that a system offering a choice between external childcare and parental leave from the child’s earliest days, as in France, results in greater inequality than one in which these childcare options follow one after the other for all children, as in Sweden and Germany.

Keywords: Sweden, Germany, France, young children, early childhood, childcare, parental leave, inequality of access.