Definition of a ‘Worker’ under Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

Inga Daukšienė

Abstract


There is a number of important aspects due to which the interpretation of the definition of a ‘worker’ is relevant and problematic. Neither primary EU law that sets out the basic provision of free movement of workers, nor secondary legislation that was passed to implement Article 45, propose the definition of a ‘worker’. The interpretation of the definition of a ‘worker’ is important, as it determines the width of the application of the principle of free movement of workers that is fundamental to the EU. The Court of Justice of the EU determines three elements of the definition of a ‘worker’: (1) employment performance; (2) relationship of subordination; (3) remuneration. The content of these elements is not sufficiently elaborated and clear. The interpretation of the first element is the most problematic. Therefore, in this publication, the author analyzes the specification of ‘effective and genuine’ activities and deals with the problem of rehabilitation or reintegration activities of persons employed under special programs and of those who perform preparatory services. Through a disclosure of the contents of the second element, the author analyzes the question of the differentiation of employed and self-employed persons and the issue of the attribution of a company’s management personnel to the field of the application of Artcle 45. What regards the third element (remuneration), the author makes an attempt to determine whether the rate of pay, especially when it is below the state’s standard of living, may be crucial for the recognition of an employee’s status.

Keywords


free movement of workers; definition of a ‘worker’; employment performance; ‘effective and genuine’ activities; supervision element; element of remuneration

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236