On Fairness and Moral Force of the Employment Contract in the Post-Industrial Era

Mikolaj Rylski
European Research Studies Journal, Volume XXIV, Issue 1, 461-477, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ersj/1973


Purpose: The purpose of the article is to present selected concepts of extra-legal justification of the obligation to comply with contracts, including moral binding, which seem to be most fully developed in the Anglo-Saxon legal writings. Then, referring these arrangements to the employment contract by attempting to find extra-legal justification for its compliance. Design/Methodology/Approach: The conducted research is based on the philosophical and legal methodology, taking into account the achievements of Anglo-Saxon thought. Findings: From the extra-legal perspective, it seems that the binding force of this contract, based on differentiated values, lies in the fact it is a manifestation of freedom of a man as a rational and autonomous being, constituting a materialized fruit of parties’ mutual trust, creating a platform for building social collaboration and long-term interpersonal relations based on the community ideal and leading to an exchange of promises bringing a mutual benefit by ensuring the parties’ share in the distribution of socially significant goods, with all resulting social-economic-ethical-psychological effects and extending the sphere of human freedom, in particular freedom from social exclusion. Practical Implications: The conducted research allows for the transfer of Anglo-Saxon philosophical and legal doctrines to the continental labor law systems, significantly enriching the axiological justification underlying the employment contract and the need to comply with its terms. This, in turn, may have a positive impact on the practice of applying the law by courts, particularly in cases where the non-legal aspect comes to the fore. Originality/value: The article attempts to determine the employment contract's moral authority and the resulting obligation to comply with its provisions. It also contained threads regarding the issue of fairness of an employment contract and an axiological evaluation template.

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