Maria Azzurra Tranfaglia

  • Maria Azzurra Tranfaglia

    PhD candidate

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Maria Azzurra is undertaking a PhD in comparative Labour Law, focussing on the protection of workers involved in agency work arrangements (or labour-hire) in Australia and in Italy. She is a Teaching Fellow in Employment Law at Melbourne Law School and has lectured the subject 'Employment Relations and Legal Framework' at ACU. As a Research Assistant and Research Fellow at the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, she has been involved in several research projects, ranging from ownership of employees’ creations, enforcement of workplace rights and Australian labour migration. She is an employment lawyer admitted to practice in Italy and she has studied and worked both in Italy and in Australia in this field. In particular, Azzurra completed a Law Degree in 2008 at LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome, with a major in Labour Law and a final dissertation thesis analysing the protection of employees during transfer of undertaking in Europe and in Australia. She worked as an employment lawyer in Milan, studied Human Resource Management in Australia and has previously worked as a research assistant both at the University of Melbourne and in private practice. Maria Azzurra is the Administrator of the Labour Law Research Network and volunteers for a not for profit organisation (NOMIT) that assists newly arrived Italian migrants in Melbourne.

Thesis Title

As Iron Sharpens Iron, how can one regulatory experience sharpen another? A functionalist comparative assessment of the protection of workers involved in triangular work arrangements in Australia and Italy

Thesis Summary

The thesis draws on the international debate around the role of labour law in the protection of workers involved in triangular work arrangements through employment agencies. It acknowledges the similar challenges posed in many jurisdictions by this non-standard forms of work. At the same time, it looks at the divergent regulatory patterns in Australia and in Italy. While in the former country there is a current call for regulation to provide a stronger protection for labour-hire workers, the latter has recently started relaxing a series of strict provisions to ensure a higher level of flexibility for businesses that resort to agency work. With the aim of allowing cross-national legal learning, it takes a functionalist comparative approach to identify and make sense of the differences and similarities of the solutions proposed to protect the workers.


  • Professor John Howe
  • Professor Anthony Forsyth (external)
  • Labour Law
  • Employment Law
  • Industrial Relations
  • Workplace Relations and Employment Law
  • Comparative Law