Melbourne School of Government - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 35
Emerging Business Models and the Evolving Regulatory Response: Perspectives from Australia and Beyond
(LexisNexis Australia, 2019)
This Special Issue contains a selection of articles presented at a workshop, ‘Emerging Business Models and the Evolving Regulatory Response: Perspectives from Australia and Beyond’. This workshop brought together a group of scholars, policymakers and graduate students actively working on, or otherwise interested in, the broad themes of labour and employment regulation and enforcement. The workshop was held in July 2018, with the generous support of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne.
The Transformation of Enforcement of Minimum Employment Standards in Australia: A Review of the Fair Work Ombudsman's Activities from 2006-2012
(Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law, 2014-01-01)
Accountability and the Fair Work Ombudsman
(Thomson Reuters, 2011)
The importance of accountability has long been sheeted home to the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), the federal statutory agency responsible for enforcement of minimum employment standards under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). In the immediate aftermath of Work Choices, the activities of the regulator were mired in controversy. In particular, the agency’s involvement in a number of high profile and hotly contested cases led to accusations that one of its predecessor agencies, the Office of Workplace Services (OWS), was politically motivated and acting as the Howard Coalition Government’s “secret police”. In light of the agency’s rather harrowing experiences in the wake of Work Choices, it is not surprising that the FWO now places a heavy emphasis on the importance of independence, transparency and accountability. Drawing on an extended concept of accountability, this article will undertake a preliminary assessment of the various accountability mechanisms which currently apply to the FWO and question whether these checks are adequate to guard against the criticisms previously levelled at the organisation.
Less Energetic but More Enlightened? Exploring the Fair Work Ombudsman's Use of Litigation in Regulatory Enforcement
(The University of Sydney Law School, 2013)
Since early 2006, the federal labour inspectorate, now known as the Fair Work Ombudsman ('FWO'), has been both active and innovative in promoting and enforcing employment standards. While various enforcement tools are available to the FWO, civil remedy litigation has been an especially visible aspect of the agency's compliance activities. This article surveys the litigation activities of the federal labour inspectorate from I July 2006 to 30 June 2012. We explore the extent to which litigation has fluctuated over the past six years; the types of contraventions that have been pursued; the characteristics of respondents; and any patterns in remedies and outcomes. We consider the extent to which the FWO's changing approach to litigation reflects influential approaches to regulatory enforcement, including responsive regulation and strategic enforcement. Our assessment of the data suggests that the FWO has made increasing use of civil remedy litigation and the deterrence effects of this intervention have been amplified through prominent use of media. While the agency has become bolder in its use of litigation by targeting a wider range of individuals and entities, there is still some room to seek alternative court sanctions in order to achieve greater deterrence and more sustainable compliance behaviour.
Too Soft or Too Severe? Enforceable Undertakings and the Regulatory Dilemma Facing the Fair Work Ombudsman
(Sage Publications, 2013)
This article reports on the use of enforceable undertakings by the Australian employment standards enforcement agency, the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), and its predecessor, the Workplace Ombudsman. Enforceable undertakings are used by the FWO as an alternative enforcement tool to court litigation in relation to breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), which regulates wages, working hours and other minimum employment conditions. Proponents of enforceable undertakings argue that they deliver value to regulatory agencies as a responsive alternative to traditional, punitive enforcement action. On the other hand, critics have raised concerns about the accountability and effectiveness of this enforcement tool. The authors provide a critical analysis of the FWO’s use of enforceable undertakings, including consideration of the decision-making process, content, monitoring and enforcement of undertakings.
Creating Ripples, Making Waves? Assessing the General Deterrence Effects of Enforcement Activities of the Fair Work Ombudsman
(Sydney Law School, 2017)
This article draws on an empirical study of business responses to the regulation and enforcement of minimum employment standards in two discrete industry sectors in Australia: hairdressing and restaurants. The study aimed to critically assess the concept of general deterrence and explore key questions arising from calculative theories of compliance. In particular, this article considers the extent to which employer businesses were aware of the enforcement activities of the Fair Work Ombudsman (‘FWO’); the depth of this knowledge; and whether this knowledge affected business perceptions of enforcement risks and the subsequent compliance response. The article concludes that while firms may not recall the details of enforcement activities with any precision or accuracy, their general awareness of the FWO’s efforts in this respect has important ripple effects on risk perception and compliance behaviour.
Can improving working memory prevent academic difficulties? a school based randomised controlled trial
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2011-06-20)
BACKGROUND: Low academic achievement is common and is associated with adverse outcomes such as grade repetition, behavioural disorders and unemployment. The ability to accurately identify these children and intervene before they experience academic failure would be a major advance over the current 'wait to fail' model. Recent research suggests that a possible modifiable factor for low academic achievement is working memory, the ability to temporarily store and manipulate information in a 'mental workspace'. Children with working memory difficulties are at high risk of academic failure. It has recently been demonstrated that working memory can be improved with adaptive training tasks that encourage improvements in working memory capacity. Our trial will determine whether the intervention is efficacious as a selective prevention strategy for young children at risk of academic difficulties and is cost-effective. METHODS/DESIGN: This randomised controlled trial aims to recruit 440 children with low working memory after a school-based screening of 2880 children in Grade one. We will approach caregivers of all children from 48 participating primary schools in metropolitan Melbourne for consent. Children with low working memory will be randomised to usual care or the intervention. The intervention will consist of 25 computerised working memory training sessions, which take approximately 35 minutes each to complete. Follow-up of children will be conducted at 6, 12 and 24 months post-randomisation through child face-to-face assessment, parent and teacher surveys and data from government authorities. The primary outcome is academic achievement at 12 and 24 months, and other outcomes include child behaviour, attention, health-related quality of life, working memory, and health and educational service utilisation. DISCUSSION: A successful start to formal learning in school sets the stage for future academic, psychological and economic well-being. If this preventive intervention can be shown to be efficacious, then we will have the potential to prevent academic underachievement in large numbers of at-risk children, to offer a ready-to-use intervention to the Australian school system and to build international research partnerships along the health-education interface, in order to carry our further studies of effectiveness and generalisability.
Family and Community Predictors of Comorbid Language, Socioemotional and Behavior Problems at School Entry
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2016-07-05)
OBJECTIVES: To identify the prevalence and family and community-level predictors of comorbid speech-language difficulties and socioemotional and behavioral (SEB) difficulties across a population of children at school entry. METHODS: The School Entry Health Questionnaire is a parent survey of children's health and wellbeing, completed by all children starting school in Victoria, Australia (N = 53256). It includes parental report of speech-language difficulties, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (behavior), and numerous family and community variables. Following univariate analysis, family and community risk characteristics were entered into a multinomial logistic regression model to identify the associated relative risk of comorbid speech/language and SEB needs. The influence of experiencing multiple risk factors was also examined. RESULTS: 20.4% (n = 10,868) began school with either speech-language or SEB difficulties, with 3.1% (n = 1670) experiencing comorbid needs. Five factors predicted comorbidity: the child having witnessed violence; a history of parent mental illness; living in more deprived communities; and the educational attainment of each parent (independently). The relative risk of comorbidity was 6.1 (95% Confidence Interval: 3.9, 9.7) when a child experienced four or more risk factors, compared to those with no risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of comorbidity in early childhood is associated with a range of family and community factors, and elevated by the presence of multiple factors. Children growing up in families experiencing multiple, complex needs are therefore at heightened risk of the early development of difficulties likely to impact upon schooling. Early identification of these children offers opportunities for appropriate and timely health and education intervention.