Journal article

Chain reaction: A strategic approach to addressing employment noncompliance in complex supply chains

Tess Hardy, John Howe

Journal of Industrial Relations | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2015


There is an emerging consensus that targeting the direct employer of workers in enforcement action may be both inefficient and ineffective in achieving compliance with employment standards. This article explores some new and innovative ways that the Australian employment standards enforcement agency – the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) – has sought to address the problem of employment non-compliance in complex supply chains. In particular, we examine three distinct mechanisms used by the FWO, namely: supply chain litigation, enforceable undertakings and proactive compliance deeds. We argue that these initiatives illustrate the way in which regulatory agencies can better target their..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The research carried out for this article has been supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council (LP099990298) and is part of a wider research project on the activities and influence of the Fair Work Ombudsman ('FWO'). This project is partly funded by the FWO. The authors would like to thank the FWO and the anonymous interviewees and participants for cooperating with this research.