Basic income is paid regardless of whether the recipient is working or willing to work. Because of this feature it is needed to consider the effects of basic income on the right to work in the Constitution. This paper examines whether the basic income can be harmonized with the purpose of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to work, and with the realization of the provisions related to the right to work.
The reasons for the view that basic income will have a negative effect on the realization of the right to work is as follows; The right to work is a means of securing the opportunity to freely develop personality but basic income does not meet this constitutional significance of the right to work. By lowering the motivation to work, basic income is in conflict with the state’s constitutional obligations to promote employment. Basic income will threaten proper wages and reasonable working conditions, such as spawning low-wage jobs and allowing workers to accept poorer working conditions.
Although it is difficult to completely deny such risks, there are several other possible counter arguments. First of all, basic income does not in itself deprive or reduce the opportunity for work. By relying on the income already secured, an individual s choice of work can be broadened and work can be a momentum for realization of personality by providing a foundation for doing things that match one s qualities and interests. Secondly, basic income does not necessarily lower the motivation to work, but rather stimulates the desire for income to increase incentive to work. Also, basic income can increase labor market flexibility, shorter working hours, and greater opportunities for work without unemployment trap. In view of this aspect, it is possible to assess that the basic income meets the state’s constitutional obligations to promote employment. Finally, workers can be more advantageous in wage negotiations, depending on basic income. Since basic income is not tied to the level of wages, workers motivation to maximize wages is still maintained, and they may have time, money and energy to participate in retraining for better wages and working conditions. In addition, basic income, through financial backing, can facilitate workers and trade unions long-term resistance to employers, and can increase the chances of political participation to improve working conditions.
In the end, basic income is hardly seen as contradicting the realization of right to work. Basic income can be harmonized with the right to work and further contribute positively to the realization of the right to work. Therefore, it is important to look for ways to minimize the elements that are pointed out as problems and to ensure positive results.