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European Labour Law


Please note that the following description of the course is only provisional and therefore subject to change.

Admission requirements

Background in law and sufficient command of English. Preferably students are familiar with the basics of European law.


The economy over the years has increasingly become more global and international. The interdependence between nations has brought prosperity and fruitful trade, but has also caused the widespread effect of the economic crisis. Consequently, labour law has become an increasingly important and international field.
To deal with the challenges in the present day economy, the European Union has developed an important set of labour law and employment law standards, which is, in particular via the case law of the European Court of Justice, very influential in the Member States.

Course Objectives

Objectives of the course:

  • During this course, a general introduction into and an overview of European Labour Law will be provided.

  • We will discuss the basis for European Labour Law in the EU Treaties, including European fundamental social rights, the European Social Dialogue and the European Employment Strategy. Next, specific material aspects of European Labour Law will be explored in more detail. These include worker migration, equal treatment, atypical workers, health and safety at work (especially working time), worker protection and worker participation in the undertaking.Where possible and useful, reference will also be made to the national systems of Labour Law of the EU member states.

Achievement levels:
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • Historical background knowledge of labour law in general within the EU

  • Knowledge of the three different methods by which the EU creates labour law

  • Knowledge of the most important material aspects of EU Labour Law

  • Application of EU labour legislation to practical cases



Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10 (1 per week for a duration of 10 weeks)

  • Names of lecturers: Prof. dr G.J.J. Heerma van Voss, mr. R. Meyers, invited guest lecturers

  • Required preparation by students: Required reading for each lecture


  • Number of (2 hour) seminars: 10 (1 per week for a duration of 10 weeks)

  • Names of instructors: mr. R. Meyers,

  • Required preparation by students: Required reading (Literature, legislation and cases); written preparation of the Seminar Assignments (to be handed in via Blackboard)

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam, consisting of open questions. The retake will be oral.

Areas to be tested within the exam
Compulsory reading materials and any other topics discussed in class.


The Blackboard environment for this course will contain all of the Assignments, relevant background materials and a selection of the prescribed case-law.
More information on this course is offered in Blackboard.

Reading list

Obligatory course materials

  • Literature: To be announced on Blackboard

  • Legislation: To be announced on Blackboard

  • Case law: Can be downloaded from Blackboard.

  • Course information guide (information + assignments) is available on Blackboard.


Students have to register for courses and exams through uSis.
Exchange students have priority and will be registered for the course first. Any remaining seats will be available for students from Leiden University and other Dutch Universities.

Contact details

  • Coordinator: Mw mr.dr. I.A. Haanappel-van der Burg

  • Work address: Steenschuur 25 (KOG), room A1.51

  • Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 7073

  • E-mail:


  • Institution: Public Law

  • Division: Labour Law

  • Room number secretariat: Steenschuur 25 (KOG), room B1.21

  • Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00-15:00

  • Telephone number secretariat: +31 (0)71 527 7636

  • E-mail: