Prof Andrew Stewart and Associate Professor Joanna Howe recently participated in a workshop on Emerging Business Models and the Evolving Regulatory Response organised by the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at Melbourne Law School, and attended by a select group of academics, practitioners and government officials.
Prof Andrew Stewart, along with Professor Shae McCrystal from Sydney Law School, presented a paper entitled “Labour Regulation and the Great Divide: Do New Business Models Require a New Category of Worker?”. t examined the way in which labour rights are typically given to employees, but not independent contractors or other self-employed workers. In reviewing debates about the categorisation and protection of workers in the “gig economy”, the paper argued against the creation of a new, “intermediate” category of worker, on whom something less than the full range of employment rights would be conferred.
Associate Professor Joanna Howe’s paper was entitled:
In Cahoots? A Critical Examination of the Relationship between Labour Hire and Growers in the Australian Horticulture Industry
There is a gap in our knowledge on labour hire reliance in the Australian horticulture industry. This paper relies on extensive field work in five regional locations to seek to develop a better understanding of labour hire use – including the extent to which growers rely on non-compliant providers to access and remunerate workers. The paper argues that growers’ reliance on non-compliant labour hire has reshaped the horticultural labour market and developed a pervasive and unfortunate business model which serves to undermine fair competition among growers, as well as employment standards for those working in the industry.