This paper is derived from our book The Common Law Employment Relationship: A Comparative Study recently published by Edward Elgar. This paper considers three key observations drawn from the book. First, the common law has developed differently in each jurisdiction, under the influence of the particular social and political circumstances in those jurisdictions. Second, the changing modes in which enterprises seek to engage subservient labour have placed the common law concept of employment under considerable pressure, and have (consequently) generated some evolution in the common law approach to defining employment. These developments also evidence jurisdictional variation. Finally, the impact of new technology has tested the common law’s capacity to accommodate changing expectations in employment relationships. Here we find fewer jurisdictional differences, and a greater tendency towards conservatism.
Anderson, Gordon J, Brodie, Douglas and Riley, Joellen, The Common Law and the Individual Employment Relationship: A Three Jurisdictional Perspective (June 1, 2017). Proceedings of the Fourth Labour Law Research Network Conference, Toronto June 25-27, 2017.