The Hugo Sinzheimer Institute of Labour Law (HSI) was founded on 29 April 2010 in Frankfurt am Main. As a part of the Otto Brenner Foundation, it provides a forum for national and international labour and social legislation research.
The institute stands in the tradition of Hugo Sinzheimer (1875 - 1945) who united various perspectives on labour law in his work as a legal scholar, legal practitioner, legal politician and sociologist. Sinzheimer was legal consultant to the German metalworkers’ federation and was honorary professor for labour law at the university of Frankfurt/Main from 1920. In 1921 he initiated the founding of the European Academy of Work (Akademie der Arbeit). He was an SPD delegate during the Weimar Republic. His advocacy of the indispensable and normative applicability of collective agreements was decisive in securing the constitutional protection of freedom of association and free collective bargaining. Sinzheimer is considered the father of German labour law; his name stands for a social labour law.
In the spirit of Sinzheimer’s work, the institute supports labour and social legislation research which integrates various aspects such as sociology, legal policy, and elements of international and comparative law – a committment to Sinzheimer’s humanistic legacy. The Institute not only deals with basic questions and applied social and labour law research, but also addresses more general and important issues of practical relevance for employees, trade unions and workplace employee representatives. It seeks to make an active input into the legal policy debates surrounding questions of labour and social law and intends to enrich current debates with scientifically proven and objective arguments. Its work areas include employee data protection, maintaining and expanding employment protection provisions, and strengthening collective bargaining parties, the coverage of collective bargaining and workers’ participation.