The Role of Deterrence in Enforcing Employment Standards: Recent Research from Canada and Australia (March 2017)

Professor Eric Tucker, Osgoode Hall Law School, Professor John Howe, Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law and Dr Tess Hardy, Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law

CELRL Seminar on 22 March 2017

About the event

The role of deterrence in the enforcement of employment standards has been the subject of much debate among academics, activists and government officials.  However, there is relatively little empirical research on its actual use and impact.  This seminar will present two recent studies that help fill this gap.  The first is a study of whether there is a ‘deterrence gap’ in employment standards enforcement in Ontario, Canada.  The study uses two theories of enforcement to establish benchmarks against which a gap might be measured and then examines the use of deterrence measures by enforcement officials.  The second is a study of Australian business awareness of and responses to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s strategic enforcement approach to minimum employment standards in two industries in Victoria and NSW: cafes and restaurants, and hair and beauty services.

About the speakers

Eric Tucker is a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Ohio.  He has published extensively on labour and employment law, occupational health and safety regulation and legal history.  His most recent works include a co-edited collection entitled Work on Trial: Canadian Labour Law Struggles (2010), and two authored monographs, Constitutional Labour Rights in Canada: Farm Workers and the Fraser Case (2012) and Security, Toleration, and the Limits of Dissent in War and Peace, 1914-1939 (2015).

John Howe is a Professor at Melbourne Law School, where he is Co-Director of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law. John has written extensively on the nature of various mechanisms of labour regulation, and the intersection between state-based regulation and corporate governance. He is presently engaged in research concerning regulatory enforcement of minimum employment standards in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Tess Hardy is a Lecturer in the Melbourne Law School and a member of the CELRL. Tess' published work deals mostly with the enforcement of employment regulation, and the respective regulatory roles played by government labour inspectorates and non-state actors, such as unions, employer associations and lead firms.

Prof John Howe, Dr Tess Hardy and Prof Eric Tucker