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A Strategic Approach to Regulating Unacceptable Forms of Work

McCann, Deirdre; Fudge, Judy

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Judy Fudge


Upgrading low‐waged and insecure work is central to contemporary labour and development initiatives, from the UN Sustainable Development Goals to the United Kingdom ‘Taylor Review’. The International Labour Organization’s notion of unacceptable forms of work (UFW) is a crucial contribution. Yet the regulatory frameworks that can effectively address UFW are unclear. This article builds on a novel framework – the Multidimensional Model of UFW. Drawing on theoretical literatures at the frontline of regulation scholarship, it proposes a strategic approach to UFW regulation that supports development, acknowledges the constrained resources of low‐income countries, and targets expansive and sustainable effects. Two key concepts are identified: points of leverage and institutional dynamism. Globally‐prominent regulatory frameworks are assessed as a starting point for mapping the strategic approach: the Mathadi Act of Maharashtra, India; Uruguayan domestic work legislation; minimum wages in the global North and South; and United Kingdom regulation of ‘zero‐hours contracts’.


McCann, D., & Fudge, J. (2019). A Strategic Approach to Regulating Unacceptable Forms of Work. Journal of Law and Society, 46(2), 271-301.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 28, 2019
Publication Date May 30, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2019
Journal Journal of Law and Society
Print ISSN 0263-323X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 2
Pages 271-301
Keywords Unacceptable Forms of Work


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (183 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Law and Society published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cardiff University (CU).<br /> This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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