Report Launch: The Plural Regulation of Work: A Pilot Study of Restaurant Workers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia (October 2017)

Dr Petra Mahy, Monash University, Professor Richard Mitchell, Monash University, Professor Sean Cooney, Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, Professor John Howe, Melbourne School of Government

Report Launch Seminar:

The Plural Regulations of Work: A Pilot Study of Restaurant Workers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Seminar presented by Dr. Petra Mahy, Professor Richard Mitchell, Professor Sean Cooney & Professor John Howe

Tuesday, 12 October 2017: 1 - 2 PM at Melbourne Law School


About the event

This seminar launched a Research Report, and present its major findings, on the plural regulation of work arrangements in restaurants in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Discussion of informal employment tends to focus on the ‘failure’ of labour law to protect many workers around the world, and labels employment as being informal where there is an absence of labour law. Such an approach implies that work arrangements that fall outside the scope of formal labour law are unregulated. This project aimed to contribute to correcting this view by designing a methodology capable of investigating the formal laws and informal (non-state) norms and institutions, and the overlaps and interactions between them, in regulating work arrangements. In other words, we are asking the empirical question ‘What is actually regulating work?

Originally funded by an interdisciplinary seed grant from the University of Melbourne, we have piloted this methodology in both Yogyakarta and in Melbourne. After providing an extensive review of the international and Indonesia-specific literature on the informal regulation of work, the Report presents the findings of the research in Yogyakarta (we plan to publish the Melbourne results at a later date).

About the Authors

Dr Petra Mahy joined the Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University, in July 2017 as a senior lecturer. Previously, she was a lecturer in law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (2015-2017), a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford (2013-2015) and a research fellow at the Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University (2010-2013). Petra is both a lawyer and an anthropologist and her general research interests fall in the disciplines of comparative law, socio-legal and regulatory studies. She mainly conducts research in Southeast Asia and particularly in Indonesia.

Professor Richard Mitchell is employed (part time) in the Department of Business Law and Taxation at Monash University. He has specialised in labour law research over his career, and has a particular interest in labour law and industrial relations in the Asia-Pacific region. He has jointly edited Law and Labour Market Regulation in East Asia (2002), Labour Law and Industrial Relations in Asia: Eight Country Studies (1993), and Facing the Challenge in the Asia Pacific Region: Contemporary Themes and Issues in Labour Law (1997).

Professor Sean Cooney is in Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. His research interests concern international and comparative labour and employment law, with a focus on Asia. Sean has worked on new approaches to improving international working standards, including on Australian Research Council-funded collaborative projects on Chinese labour law reform; law enforcement in Australia; and assessing the effects of legal change in several Asia-Pacific countries. Between 2014 and 2016, Sean served as a Legal Specialist in the Labour Law and Reform Unit at the International Labour Organization in Geneva, where he provided advice to governments in countries such as China, India, Myanmar and Pakistan.

Professor John Howe is Co-Director of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at Melbourne Law School. His research interests include labour law, regulatory theory, and corporate accountability, and he teaches in the areas of corporations law, corporate social responsibility and labour 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. He is also researching how large business organisations engage in self-regulation of labour practices through internal policy and rule-making processes, and the interaction between these policies and employment laws.