It Takes a Village: Community Regulation of Employment Standards For Temporary Migrant Workers in Australian Horticulture (September 2017)
Dr Stephen Clibborn, University of Sydney
CELRL Labour Law Seminar
Company Law’s Role in Labour Law’s Problems
Seminar presented by Dr. Stephen Clibborn
Tuesday 29 September 2017: 1–2pm at Melbourne Law School
About the event
The challenge of regulating employment standards in non-unionised industries is shared by many developed countries. It is heightened in the context of declining unions and bargaining coverage across the OECD, prevalence of fragmented work structures and growing international migration of labour. In industries like horticulture, violation of minimum employment standards is widespread and state employment regulators struggle to enforce laws. This paper examines the challenge at a system level incorporating a range of community stakeholders. It conceptualises a regional town and its surrounding horticulture-dependent economy and society as a complex system in which stakeholders face the challenge of reputational damage among temporary migrant farm workers, threatening future labour supply. This ‘tragedy of the commons’ was created by those stakeholders acting solely in their individual interests by underpaying and otherwise mistreating the workers. The paper uses a qualitative approach, focusing on a single farming region in Queensland.