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Migen Dibra

Migen Dibra, Doctor of Law and Attorney in research and legislation

Steps To Consider During Company Restructuring In Canada, The European Union, And The Uk In The Light Of The "capability Approach"
Nolan International Symposium (2nd Intl Symp on Laws & their Applications for Sustainable Development)

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The current economic context of Globalization and COVID restrictions is marked by a growing number of companies restructuring and an increased unemployment rate resulting from company closures and downsizing. Therefore, it seems important to address the employee issue of job security and the need to reduce the negative impacts that some restructuring processes have on business and employees. One of the solutions in this regard is to ensure that employees are heard during the restructuring process. Since the Canadian legal framework on the subject offers insufficient protections, the goal of this article is to find solutions to strengthen the existing framework and to find possibilities for adopting other legal information and consultation procedures applicable to company restructuring in general in Canada. To this end, the author is interested in whether a process of information and consultation of workers in restructuring matters involving collective redundancies, similar to what exists in the European Union is possible at the federal level in Canada and the province of Quebec in light of the Capability for voice. As a theoretical framework, we have applied the «capability for voice», developed by Amartya Sen, which provides a method of assessing the impact and relevance of laws that recognize extended participation rights to employees regarding company economic decisions. In doing so, our work assesses the extent that the Canadian Laws and collective agreements, related to the subject matter under study, meet the four criteria of the «capability for voice», which are prerequisites to pass from the involvement stage of the employees in company decisions to their real influence on such issues. The author has also used the method of comparative law, to compare and find the best examples, on the matter at study, among various Canadian legislations. In the previous published articles the author has dealt with the employee participation rights and the «Capability for voice» in British Law and the European Union directives. In this article the author concentrates on the Canadien legal framework and the collective agreements on the subject in order to demonstrate that the protections offered by the Canadian federal Laws and the provincial laws and collective agreements on the subject are relatively weak and offer inadequate protections. In addition, by applying the «Capability for voice» we have drawn some important lessons to strengthen the existing Canadian legal framework of employee participation rights and consider a new, comprehensive framework that will apply to all types of restructuring and not only to collective redundancies and technological changes. Given that Canada is somehow interventionist in some regards to the determination of labor standards, it seems that it is possible to have a better legal framework for employee participation in Canada taking into consideration the suggestions that we have made in strengthening the «capability for voice». This work is part of the author’s Ph.D. thesis conducted at the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal, Canada and it constitutes the first in-depth study on the right of employees to participate in restructuring, which compares and applies the analytical framework of the «capability for voice» to all Canadian federal laws, provincial laws and some collective agreements as well as all the European Directives and UK laws on the matter.