Corporations are increasingly committing to remedy exploitation and forced labour within their business and supply chain. Focused on wage remedies, these projects examine efforts by businesses to compensate exploited migrant workers and establish principles to enable business to develop workable, just remedial mechanisms in the future.
7-Eleven: Lessons from a business-led redress process
After media reports of widespread exploitation of 7-Eleven’s international student workforce across Australia, the company established a Wage Repayment Program. Having paid out $150 million to date, this is the largest payout of unpaid wages in Australian history. Drawing on interviews with international students and a range of stakeholders across Australia, this project considers the barriers that prevent temporary migrants from accessing remedies for unpaid entitlements within existing legal and institutional frameworks in Australia. It identifies the factors that made the 7-Eleven Wage Program so unusually accessible and effective, and lessons for government institutions and future business-led redress processes. Findings from the study were published in the article Lessons from the 7-Eleven Wage Repayment Program for remedying migrant worker exploitation in Australia.
In The Business of Migrant Worker Recruitment: Who has the Responsibility and Leverage to Protect Rights?, Bassina and Justine Nolan identify the unique forms of leverage that state, business, and civil society actors can exert to establish a global market that commercially incentivizes fair recruiters and the suppliers that engage them, along with a transnational governance framework that identifies and sanctions those that do not.