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East-West Mobility and the (Re-)Regulation of Employment in Transnational Labour Markets

Labour Mobility in the Enlarged Single European Market

ISBN: 978-1-78635-442-6, eISBN: 978-1-78635-441-9

ISSN: 0195-6310

Publication date: 11 November 2016


This article compares the mobility experience of Austria, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom post-enlargement. In all four countries, migrant inflows from the new EU member states account for the bulk of contemporary labour mobility. At the same time, issues of wage dumping have arisen everywhere, raising questions about compliance and the ‘re-embedding’ of mobility flows. Hence the article examines the labour market impact of recent East-West migration as well as policy responses by the social partners and public authorities that are geared towards the re-regulation of employment standards. Some commonalities are identified, especially in relation to the broadening of national wage floors and the growing role of the state in enforcing labour standards. However, some differences remain, especially whether re-regulation happens on the basis of collective agreements or statutory minimum rights. In this regard, different bargaining traditions, the power resources of labour market actors and the capacity of unions to build political coalitions with the state and employers are identified as crucial factors in shaping national and sectoral response strategies.




I would like to thank Jon Erik Dølvik and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments, which have helped improve this article.


Krings, T. (2016), "East-West Mobility and the (Re-)Regulation of Employment in Transnational Labour Markets", Labour Mobility in the Enlarged Single European Market (Comparative Social Research, Vol. 32), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 183-213.



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