ACCR’s workers’ rights program promotes decent work and a living wage. More than legal compliance, decent work is the provision of fair income, job security, safety at work, and the freedom for workers to raise concerns and have them dealt with in a timely and effective manner. With wage theft scandals rocking hospitality, retail and agricultural sectors, and numbers of fatalities in the mining sector, there is growing social and community pressure on companies – and by association investors – to ensure decent work.
Worker-driven social responsibility
Workers are the best auditors. Workers and trade unions should be at the centre of any systems designed to address workplace risks. Our work in this area has focused on modern slavery, decent work and supply chains, and the limits of third party audits. We are currently targeting the exploitation of farm workers in supermarket supply chains, and labour rights issues in the aged care system.
ACCR is a signatory to the Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network.
Safety at work
Precarious working arrangements and de-unionisation have negative impacts on worker and community safety. Greater frequency of injuries and fatalities are linked to greater use of labour hire, and to a lack of proper worker consultation and representation. Our work in this area has focused on social risks and decent work in the health care sector.
As part of the global economic transition away from a reliance on fossil fuels, multiple industries across Australia will undergo major transformations. Careful planning and management, which centres workers and their representatives, is necessary to ensure that decent work is protected and provided now and into the future. Companies must assess and disclose the workforce risks associated with the climate transition, and commit to upholding global best practice labour standards during any retention, retraining or redeployment of their workforces.