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Building Persistent Compliance with Labour Law: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial

Registered
Partner agencies: 
Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman
Registration date: 
Wednesday, 1 February 2017

All employees working in Australia are entitled to a minimum wage and minimum standards of employment. The underpayment of wages and entitlements is a serious social and economic issue which affects workers, businesses and the community. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is Australia’s national workplace relations regulator. The FWO conducts proactive compliance campaigns, in which they conduct random audits of businesses regarding their compliance with wage entitlements and record keeping obligations, to prevent, detect and deter non-compliance. The FWO uses its audits to check compliance and equip employers with the skills to stay compliant. This trial will test the effectiveness of incorporating behavioural insights into audit communications and campaign activities on the rate of ongoing compliance among small businesses after the audit.

Additional trial information

Intervention start and end date: Wednesday, 01 February 2017 to Friday, 30 June 2017

BETA ethics pre-registration number: BETA ETH 2017 - 003, 10 January 2017

Experimental design: 4x2 Randomised Controlled Trial

1600-2000 small businesses randomised to four conditions measured at two time points six months apart.

Intervention(s): Reminders, checklists, planning prompts, social norm information regarding compliance and default  sign-up to an educational tool

Control condition: Treatment as usual

Outcome(s): 

Primary: Compliance with payment of wage entitlements.

Secondary: Efficiency of Audit Process, Client Satisfaction.

Expected sample size: 1600-2000 small businesses

Other: 

Hiscox, Michael. 2017. Building Persistent Compliance with Labour Law: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial. AEA RCT Registry. February 01.