Elsa Underhill

Elsa Underhill
Deakin University · Deakin Graduate School of Business

PhD UNSW M.Comm. Uni of Melb

About

40
Publications
9,568
Reads
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533
Citations
Citations since 2017
6 Research Items
305 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230102030405060
20172018201920202021202220230102030405060

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Full-text available
The exploitation of temporary migrant workers (TMWs) employed in Australia has been well documented by academics, government enquiries, and the Fair Work Ombudsman [FWO], the Federal government agency responsible for enforcing wage compliance. This article examines the ways in which temporary migrant workers access information about their employmen...
Article
This article builds on the growing literature on migrant worker mobilisation by analysing how the temporary migrant workforce, employed in food production, interacts with two Australian trade unions alongside ethno-specific social media groups, offshore unions and community/religious organisations. The contribution of this article is twofold. First...
Article
Full-text available
Over recent decades, developments in network governance have seen governments around the world cede considerable authority and responsibility to commercial migration intermediaries for recruiting and managing temporary migrant labour. Correspondingly, a by-product of network governance has been the emergence of soft employment regulation in which v...
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Management: General Interest - Australian Workplace Relations - edited by Julian Teicher
Article
The global weakness of collective bargaining and state regulation has spawned growing interest in employment protection though private governance. However, scepticism about the efficacy of unsupervised codes of conduct has triggered debate about external discipline through state regulation. This article seeks to contribute to debates about the proc...
Article
Full-text available
Horticulture work in many high-income economies is increasingly performed by temporary migrant workers from low-wage economies. In Australia, such work is now performed predominantly by international backpackers - young well-educated workers with mostly sound English language skills. These workers are drawn to harvesting work by a government scheme...
Article
Australian horticulture (fruit and vegetable production) relies upon a seasonal harvest workforce, much of which now consists of temporary migrant workers. This article argues that the composition of this workforce and the character of the work lead towards layered vulnerability, some groups being more exposed to low pay and substandard working con...
Article
Effective management of occupational health and safety (OHS) continues to pose a challenge to many organisations. While significant advancement has occurred in knowledge about traditional workplace risks, organisational and labour market changes have created new risks, psychosocial risks are more prevalent, and the trend towards the adoption of OHS...
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of labour hire employment from traditional clerical placements to a range of blue collar occupations raises concerns about the level of occupational safety risks labour hire workers encounter. Overseas evidence points to a higher incidence and severity of injury for such workers. Is this pattern of injury replicated in Australia? This...
Article
Full-text available
As with other types of flexible employment, a growing body of international research has found an association between temporary agency work and comparatively poor occupational safety and health outcomes. Temporary agency work has also been found to pose a serious challenge to regulatory regimes, including the activities of inspectors. Government ag...
Article
Full-text available
Precarious employment has been associated with adverse occupational health and safety (OHS) outcomes across a range of studies. Temporary agency workers are particularly vulnerable, with studies showing they experience a higher incidence of workplace injury, and a greater likelihood of more severe injuries than all other employment types. Explanati...
Article
Full-text available
Many temporary agency workers receive poorer pay and employment conditions than workers performing similar tasks under traditional, direct hire arrangements. This is due to a number of factors, especially the failure in practice of employment regulation developed for standard employee—employer employment arrangements to be fully applicable in such...
Article
This article argues that our theoretical understanding of neoliberalism and empirical understanding of the transformation of industrial relations in Australia since the early 1990s can be improved by disaggregating analysis from national to industry level, and by focusing on the dual neoliberal objectives of decollectivisation and individualisation...
Article
In the past 18 months, two inquiries into labour hire employment have been held in Australia. The first was conducted by the Victorian Parliament's Economic Development Committee, and reported in June 2005. The second, the Federal Government's House of Representatives Standing Committee Inquiry into Independent Contracting and Labour Hire Arrangeme...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses upon temporary' agency workers' capacity to balance work/life needs. Two extremes are identified within the Victorian temporary agency labour market. On the one hand, there are skilled temporary agency workers employed in areas of high demand accompanied by labour shortages. Nurses are one such group. At the other extreme, ther...
Article
The trend away from full-time permanent employment raises questions about the relevance of traditional approaches to managing and compensating employees. Employment in the Australian building industry is characterised by short-term, project-based employment. Employers and unions in the industry have adopted alternative compensation models to accomm...
Article
Full-text available
The growing popularity of occupational safety and health management systems in Australia has stimulated critical debate about their effectiveness. This paper asks whether the performance of such systems lives up to expectations. Making use of a research review and an extensive interviewing programme, the paper draws several conclusions. First, it o...
Chapter
The impact of deregulation on dispersion of earnings in Victoria has been acknowledged in the findings of the recent task force enquiry into industrial relations in Victoria. This paper argues that the link between hours worked and rates of pay has played a significant role in this increased dispersion. Drawing upon detailed analysis of hours and w...
Article
Full-text available
The trend towards outsourcing maintenance functions to labour hire firms raises questions about the capacity of unions to maintain membership levels and employment standards amongst an increasingly casualised labour hire workforce. The Victorian manufacturing maintenance sector has experienced substantial outsourcing to labour hire firms, but union...
Article
This paper explores the impact of labour market deregulation on Victorian employees through an analysis of employee complaints to Job Watch, an organisation which advises employees on work related problems. The analysis indicates an increased spread of complaints across industries and occupations, and a shift in the type of complaints to job proble...
Article
Full-text available
The recent cost and competitive pressures, and concomitant legitimacy ascribed to all elements of deregulation, have encouraged employers in Australia to seek new forms of the use of labour. The Troubleshooters system has been one such new form, wherein an agency has supplied contract workers to firms, but where no apparent employment relationship...
Article
Full-text available
International and Australian research agrees that temporary agency workers have a higher incidence of workplace injury, and those injuries are more severe. Much less research has been undertaken upon the cause of those injuries. This paper explores one factor contributing to their poorer occupational health and safety through an examination of the...
Article
Full-text available
Labour hire employment is an increasingly important segment of the labour market. The conditions under which labour hire employees work, however, appears especially degraded relative to direct hire employees. This paper explores the extent to which labour hire employees' ability to effectively voice concerns about workplace issues is associated wit...
Article
Full-text available
Group apprentice and traineeships expanded throughout the 1990s. This paper looks at a specific problem with the expansion of group training which is that it may be associated with an increased risk of workplace injury relative to direct hire apprentices and trainees. The paper explores workplace injuries amongst Victorian apprentices/trainees thro...
Article
The impact of deregulation on dispersion of earnings in Victoria has been acknowledged in the findings of the recent task force enquiry into Industrial Relations in Victoria. This paper argues that the link between hours worked and rates of pay has played a significant, and understated, role in the increased dispersion of earnings evident in aggreg...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This project examines the role and activities of worker safety representatives in the coal mining and construction industries. It analyses the respective importance of regulatory frameworks/regimes, union involvement/support and management.
Project
This project examines collective responses which have emerged following the rapid growth in temporary migrant workers in Australia. We will look at union responses, as well as collective responses by temporary migrant workers that have evolved outside of traditional union structured.