European Working Group on Labour Law
The European Working Group on Labour Law (EWL) is a scientific research network which includes the Law Departments of the Universities of Cassino, Castilla-La Mancha, Hannover, Leicester, Strasbourg and Utrecht. Its members focus on researching and teaching labour law at national, European and international level.
The EWL organises an annual conference for the training and development of graduate students. First, four students from each participating university present their written report on national law on the annual theme of the conference. The students are then divided into four groups comprising one representative of each participating university. Each group is given a comparative research question to explore culminating in a group presentation on the final day of the conference.
In recent years, the annual conference has concerned the themes of affirmative action (Cassino, 2007), the right to strike (Leicester, 2008), European Works Councils (Hannover, 2009), the rights of agency workers (Strasbourg, 2010), and employment without contract (Utrect, 2011).
In 2012, the annual conference took place in Almagro, Spain (organised by the University of Castilla La Mancha) on the theme of economic dismissal. In advance of the conference, the student team prepared a detailed report on the national rules applicable where employers make employees redundant (Leicester University student report on termination of a contract at the initiative of the employer based on economic grounds (PDF)).
In addition to the annual conference for graduate students, the members of the network meet regularly to pursue research projects in the field of European Labour Law. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the EWL a collection of essays was published: E Ales, T Jaspers, P Lorber, C Sachs-Durand, U Wendeling-Schröder (eds), Fundamental Social Rights in Europe: Challenges and Opportunities (Antwerp: Intersentia 2009). The group is currently contributing to a research project lead by Professor Edoardo Ales (Università di Cassino) examining health and safety at work from a comparative perspective.