Current research projects
Fair Day's Work Project: Detecting wage theft with data
Exploring how technology can support workers to navigate the process of reporting wage theft.View
Governance of sustainable and equitable smart cities
Understanding and developing approaches to smart city governance in Victoria.View
Maximising the potential of social procurement
Evaluating and growing the value and impact of social procurement programs.View
New initiatives in enforcing employment standards
The well-being of more than nine million Australian employees is underpinned by statutory workplace entitlements. For the large majority of these employees, these are set by federal legislation. The statutory entitlements are meaningful only in so far as they are complied with, and improving the effectiveness of the federal enforcement agency, the Fair Work Ombudsman, is therefore of crucial public importance. This project provides the first comprehensive scholarly evaluation of the Fair Work Ombudsman whose office is responsible for the enforcement of working conditions relating to pay, reasonable working hours and leave, amongst other regulatory functions. The findings of this project identify multiple ways in which enforcement practices can be improved, not only for the Fair Work Ombudsman, but also comparable compliance agencies domestically and overseas.
The Research Fellow for this project is Dr Tess Hardy
Aims of the project
This project examines the compliance and enforcement functions of the federal government agency responsible for ensuring compliance with, and enforcement of, minimum employment conditions. More than nine million Australians have their entitlements to pay, leave and working hours underpinned by mandated employment standards set by either statutory minima or modern awards. Under this regulatory regime, the Fair Work Ombudsman is the government agency that is primarily responsible for securing compliance with these rights and standards. While some form of federal government agency has existed in this space since the 1930s, the Fair Work Ombudsman is a radically transformed version of its predecessors. It is therefore of significant interest.
This project is assessing the Fair Work Ombudsman by:
- investigating its operation through documentary analysis, participant observation and qualitative interviewing;
- considering the agency in light of the regulatory theory, and specifically, studies of analogous organisations in Australia, the United States, France, China and Brazil, amongst others; and
- examining employer and business responses to the activities and interventions of the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Click here for more information on this project and its associated publications.
Governance and performance
This theme addresses three key questions:
- How do we design appropriate governing institutions?
- How do we improve policy and service effectiveness?
- How do we develop effective regulation?
- Renewing Australian Federalism
- Indigenous Nation Building: Theory; practice and its emergence in Australia's public policy discourse
- Engaging Professionals in Organisational Governance
- Developing a methodology and proposal for comparative regional research on governance and implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) health system reforms in the Asia Pacific
This theme addresses three key questions:
- How do governments, governing institutions and private actors relate to each other, and what can and should be the roles of these actors in the governance of different markets?
- What policy instruments are available to govern the different sites and spaces of market activity (formal, informal, visible and invisible), from global to local?
- What is the efficacy and impact of these policy instruments, and how can they be measured and compared?
- Financial Regulation in Asia - A new Model for Regional Cooperation
- Price transparency in Australian Petrol Markets: An interdisciplinary study of the role of Information Technology in strengthening Market Competitiveness
- The Power of the Good Corporation: Exploring the Role of Corporate Agency in Corporate Social Responsibility in Developing Countries
- The policy aftermaths of financial crises: how much space for politics
Disruptive Ideas seminar series
The Melbourne School of Government's Disruptive Ideas seminar series explores challenges to current regulation and governance approaches.View
In-depth research from the Regulation and Design program.View
Further information on past events held by the Regulation and Design program.View