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The Concept of the Employer$
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Jeremias Prassl

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735533.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

The Received Concept of the Employer

The Received Concept of the Employer

(p.15) 1 The Received Concept of the Employer
The Concept of the Employer

Jeremias Prassl

Oxford University Press

This chapter conceptualizes the received concept of the employer in English law. Moving beyond a series of frequently unspoken and unchallenged assumptions, the analysis reveals two competing conceptual strands in the existing case law: the concept is shaped by a range of external factors (such as language and fact patterns, contract law and the corporate veil) as a unitary one. At the same time, there is little evidence in the traditional employment status tests to suggest an inherent need for the employer always to be a singular entity. Indeed, the common law frequently betrays a strongly multi-functional concept of the employer. Five different groups of such functions are identified and illustrated. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the tension between these different strands can quickly come to the fore in multilateral work settings, once more than one entity becomes involved in the direct management of employment relationships.

Keywords:   employer, concept of the employer, common law, contract law, employment relationship, corporate veil, unitary concept, multi-functional concept, employer functions, multilateral work

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