Workplace Human Rights Reporting: A Study of Australian Garment and Retail Companies

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Abstract

The opening of the Australian economy in a globalised world has led to Australian garment and retail corporations moving their manufacturing overseas and acquiring goods from overseas providers. This is usually better for the corporations’ bottom-line, as they can purchase goods overseas at a fraction of their local cost, partly due to cheap labour. Australia is one of the many OECD countries not to have a well regulated environment for workplace human rights. This study examines 18 major Australian retail and garment manufacturing corporations and finds that workplace human rights reporting is poor, based on content analysis of their annual reports, corporate social responsibility reports and websites. This is probably due to the failure of the Australian Government to provide adequate oversight by promulgating mandatory reporting standards for both local and overseas operations of Australian companies. This permits corporations to avoid reporting their workplace human rights standards and breaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-116
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Accounting Review
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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