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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Professor Deirdre McCann

McCann, D. & Murray, J. (2014). Prompting Formalisation Through Labour Market Regulation: A ‘Framed Flexibility’ Model for Domestic Work. Industrial Law Journal 43(3): 319-348.

Author(s) from Durham


There is an urgent need to conceptualise the potential for legal regulation of informal labour markets. This article responds by centring on one facet of the informal economy, namely domestic work. Efforts to regulate domestic work have intensified in the wake of the International Labour Organization’s Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No 198). Yet this regulatory project has encountered particular complexities in devising frameworks to regulate the working hours of domestic workers. The article argues that domestic work is both crucial to the evolution of working time regulation and a fruitful site of experimentation on the ‘formalisation’ of unregulated and casualised markets. It investigates the legal construction of working time in domestic work, proposes a conceptual framework for regulation and outlines a regulatory model (the ‘Framed Flexibility Model’) that is intended to be serviceable across a range of informal and profoundly casualised work-forms (eg, ‘zero hours’ arrangements). The article concludes by explaining the relevance of this Model, including by suggesting a novel ‘reconstructive’ role for labour law.