Flexible qualification – a key to labour law?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article argues that flexible knowledge (and thus continuous education) has the potential to out-date employment protection versus new forms of works as the touchstone oflabour law discourse in the Knowledge Society. Hitherto labour law discourse has usually focused on labour market segmentation in terms of a core group of permanently employed workers and more peripheral groups of workers in atypical employment. However, recent Swedish labour market statistics show that employability in terms of qualification appears to be the crucial quality, regardless of mode of employment, when it comes to the risk for the individual of being subjected to unfavourable labour conditions, transfers and unemployment. This implies new challenges to labour law. Legally defined or negotiated rights to education and training is an important way forward. It is argued that while such rights as part of employment protection schemes seem to imply a strengthening of employer prerogatives as regards the functional flexibility dimension, a right to education and training as part of more general conditions of employment may work to the 'empowerment' of individual employees. What we need is 'a normative shift' as regards the employer's obligation, from an obligation to guarantee continued employment to an obligation to guarantee continued employability.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law


  • arbetsrätt, labour law
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-115
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

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