Researchers

Coordinators

Prof Yves Jorens

Yves Jorens is Professor of (European) social law and social criminal law at Ghent University. He has an extensive track record in managing large-scale European projects dealing with European social security and labour issues of migrant persons and issues related to social dumping and social fraud. His main domains of research are the coordination of social security for migrant workers, posting, cross-border employment, social dumping, combatting social fraud and social dumping, and the employment situation in the aviation sector.

Professor Jorens is co-founder and director of LIISA and Honorary Professor at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. He is also director of IRIS|international research institute on social fraud, a knowledge centre that gathers relevant information of regional, national, and international interest regarding social fraud in the broadest sense of the word. IRIS constitutes a unique corporation platform between the academic world on the one hand and the different actors involved in the fight against social fraud on the other hand. 

Prof Alexander De Becker

Alexander De Becker is Professor and Doctor of Laws and obtained his PhD titled ‘Legal foundations of the legal status of public servants’ in 2006. He teaches among other courses ‘Labour Law’, ‘Social Consultation’, ‘The State as Employer’ at the Faculty of Law and Criminology and ‘Labour Law in Health Organisations’ at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Ghent University. His main research field covers the rights of public service employees in a strong comparative law and international context, but he also has a large expertise in administrative law and labour law in general.

Professor De Becker is co-founder and director of research centre LIISA. Furthermore, for seven years, he was Professor holding the Chair ‘The State as Employer’ at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Moreover, he conducted research as a visiting scholar at different universities such as Oxford University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the European University Institute in Florence.

Prof Glenn Rayp

Glenn Rayp is Professor of International Economics at Ghent University and professorial research fellow of UNU-CRIS. His current research is centred on the impact of international trade on labour market conditions and productivity, the impact of regional integration and issues in international governance, in particular the substance of regional governance and its impact on the achievement of the SDGs.

He is a former member of the Belgian High Council of Finance and High Council on Employment. He published amongst other in World Development, Oxford Economic Papers, Labour Economics, the Journal of Consumer Analysis, the Journal of Productivity Analysis, and the Journal of Business History.

Prof Katia Levecque 

Katia Levecque is Professor of Employment Relations and Social Dialogue (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Ghent University) and a certified Mediator in Social Affairs. She has international expertise in employment and work-related well-being and mental health. Of special interest are precarious employment, psychosocial working conditions, sustainable jobs, negotiation, and mediation.

She is also Director of ECOOM UGent, the Centre of Expertise that monitors human capital in R&D&I for the Flemish Government. A passion for making people thrive and flourish keeps her going. As do good coffee and daily meditation… And oh, did we mention that she is a certified chocolatier too?

Senior researchers

Prof Patrick Humblet

Patrick Humblet studied law at the University of Antwerp and obtained his doctoral degree in 1993. In the same year, he became Professor at the Faculty of Law at Ghent University. He was Visiting Professor at the University of Antwerp, the Antwerp Management School, the Royal Higher Institute for Defence, and the Royal Military Academy. Furthermore, Patrick Humblet took up various functions. He was president of the Research Unit Social Law, academic secretary general of the Faculty of Law, director of the law library, and director of education. He has been member of the editorial board of many prestigious scientific magazines. His academic work covers labour law, the legal aspects of industrial relations, fundamental rights at work and legal history. Since 1 October 2020, he is emeritus professor. He now focuses on writing books.

Prof Inger De Wilde

Inger De Wilde obtained her Master of Laws degree at Ghent University (2001). Before joining the research group Politics & Public Governance (2011) at the University of Antwerp, she has been a member of the Brussels bar, has done scientific research as a teaching assistant at Ghent University and worked (part-time) as a legal consultant. Her research specialisation is located at the intersection of administrative law, social security law and labour law, supplemented with insights from personnel management in the public sector. On 6 July 2016 Inger obtained her PhD title in Law with a thesis called 'Flexicurity in the Public Sector. An analysis of the possibility to (unilaterally) modify individual and collective terms and conditions of employment regarding public sector contractors'. Currently Inger works as a postdoc researcher affiliated to the 'Pensions Knowledge Unit' Chair (University of Antwerp) and as a guest professor at Ghent University.

Prof Evelien Timbermont

Evelien Timbermont is Visiting Professor at Ghent University and is also active as a postdoctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where she recently obtained her PhD with a thesis on the legal position of teaching staff in the Flemish Community. Furthermore, she has worked as a lawyer specialised in social law for some time. Her research focuses on industrial relations in education, with attention paid to both individual and collective labour law. Moreover, she has a particular interest in the impact of fundamental rights on the employment relationship and especially in the concept of ideologically oriented enterprises (‘Tendenzbetrieb’ or ‘entreprise de tendance’).

Prof Filip Van Overmeiren

Filip Van Overmeiren has been a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology since 2018, in combination with a visiting professorship at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel where he teaches a course in cross-border employment. In addition to his academic experience, Professor Van Overmeiren is well-grounded in the field as Director at Deloitte Global Employer Services. There, too, he focuses on international employment and specialises in international social security. Furthermore, he is member of the steering committee of MoveS (Free Movement of Workers and Social Security Coordination), a network of experts financed by the European Commission. He regularly speaks at national and international conferences and has a broad network among national and European authorities.

Alessandro Nato

Alessandro Nato is a Postdoctoral Assistant Professor at the Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law at Ghent University and a former Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Political Science at the LUISS Guido Carli University. He holds a PhD in Civil, Corporate and International Law at the University of Genoa. His research interests are EU social citizenship, social law, rule of law, and EU law.

Researchers

Flore Claus

Flore Claus graduated in 2020 with a thesis on dual learning and the possible extension of this unique learning opportunity to lifelong learning. In her doctoral dissertation, she will focus on the right to lifelong learning and its translation within the existing Belgian labour law.

Isabo Heirbaut

Isabo Heirbaut has been an Assistant to Professor De Becker since 1 October 2018. She writes her doctoral dissertation on public servants' well-being at work. Previously, she worked as a paralegal specialised in social law.

Lissa Nissen

Lissa Nissen has been a PhD researcher under the supervision of Professor De Becker since October 2019. Her doctoral dissertation relates to the legal position of personnel of functionally decentralised government agencies in BelgiumThe main characteristic of these government agencies is the granted autonomy to promote a particular public interest or to provide a specific public service. However, the degree of granted autonomy varies strongly. The research will be focused on the impact of these degrees of autonomy on the legal position of the personnel. The aim is to examine to what extent the autonomy and the associated legal form have an influence on the nature of the employment and the applicability of administrative and employment law regulations.

With a view to a broader perspective, a comparative law study will be conducted with the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom. The ultimate aim of the doctoral research is to investigate to what extent the existing legal-theoretical framework can be preserved and which possibilities can be developed for a more coherent framework for employment in functional decentralised government agencies. Moreover, as an unpaid scientific researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, she helps writing scientific articles, both in the field of labour law and social security law.

Lien Valcke

Lien Valcke has been working at the Department of Social Law since 2012, first as a scientific researcher and currently as an assistant to Professor Jorens, under whose supervision she is writing a doctoral dissertation on mental well-being in the aviation sector among both pilots and cabin crew. Her dissertation is multidisciplinary and pays attention to both the legal and the (labour) psychological dimension of the problem.

She examines trends in atypical employment within this sector. Moreover, Lien Valcke conducted research into working conditions in the lockdown context and the consequences for the staff's mental well-being. In addition, she researched the functioning of and the need for transnational trade unions, as well as their possible role to play within the unique context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Evert Nerinckx

Evert Nerinckx currently contributes to the MOBILIVE project. The aim of this European research project is to explore and map the social security and employment status of artists, focusing on the large group of often 'hyper-mobile' artists in the live performance sector. International (labour) mobility constitutes one of the fundamental pillars of the European Union, but very little research has been done on the social and legal status of often highly mobile artists and their supporting staff. Therefore, this project is an attempt to gain a better insight into the various legal challenges that this high degree of international mobility entails.

The current European regulation on posting and coordination of social security systems is often not adapted to the growing group of very internationally oriented actors in the live performance sector. For both employees and employers, it is often extremely difficult to know which legislation is applicable or how it should be interpreted. This lack of clarity sometimes results in inadequate building of social rights, such as a pension or the right to unemployment benefits. The MOBILIVE project could put forward possible solutions that guarantee that international mobility does not come at the expense of building important social rights for both employees and the self-employed. The research domains of Evert Nerinckx include cross-border mobility, social rights, European coordination, and posting.