Accounting for work conditions from modern slavery to decent work

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Purpose–With the initial focus on the extreme end of the work conditions continuum where, in the last decade, legislation has been introduced to combat illegal and illegitimate practices, this issue’s lead paper provides an overview on key topics of extreme work conditions of modern slavery and accounting. The paper introduces the Special Issue on“Accounting for modern slavery, employees and work conditions in business”and its selected papers.
Design/methodology/approach–The method adopted is a wide-ranging literature review exploring the continuum of work conditions and their relationship to accounting, especially extreme exploitation of workers through modern slavery.
Findings–Employment and workplace conditions and practices in business can be viewed as a continuum ranging from the illegal and illegitimate practices of modern slavery, through unethical and often illegal practices such as wages theft, to decent work. Given this continuum, in this Special Issue avenues are identified for accounting research to provide an account of the effectiveness of actions taken to eliminate modern slavery and overcome grey areas of work conditions.
Practical implications–The paper helps to create an improved understanding of different types of exploitation in work conditions in different industries and the role accounting might play in research and practice.
Social implications–Slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Instead, it changed its forms and continues to harm people in every country in the world especially in certain industries, of which several are discussed and accounting advice proffered. Likewise, as reflected in Special Issue papers, the role of accounting in reducing less extreme forms of poor work conditions is also considered.
Originality/value–The paper provides an overview of different forms and degrees of exploitation in work conditions and identifies the need for and areas of accounting research in this emerging area.
ZeitschriftAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Seiten (von - bis)1481-1504
Anzahl der Seiten24
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 20.10.2020