Using public procurement to promote better labour standards in Australia: A case study of responsive regulatory design

John Howe, Ingrid Landau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The former Federal Coalition Government's industrial relations reforms restricted the capacity of state governments to make labour law, inspiring them to consider more innovative ways of regulating labour standards in the private sector including through greater use of public procurement. This article presents a case study of a program in which an Australian state government has sought to use its purchasing power to regulate labour standards in the cleaning industry. The authors assess this program against a model of responsive regulation. They suggest that there is potential to extend this model to other areas of government procurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-589
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Government procurement
  • Labour standards
  • Responsive regulation

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