Working for free illegal employment practices, ‘off the books’ work and the continuum of legality within the service economy

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    Abstract

    Much of the literature on illegal labour focuses on the exploitation of illegal migrants and, by extension, the trafficking and smuggling networks that transport them to destination countries. Using evidence from two projects that investigated working conditions in the formal service economy, the paper presents evidence of ‘off the books’ work, illegal employment practices such as denial of benefits and the minimum wage, as well as work trials where labour is exploited for free. By considering political economic imperatives, this paper argues that employees in both the formal and informal economy are dispossessed of rights, pay, benefits and security in order for employers to profit by surplus value and the circulation of capital. The real ‘organised crime’ of illegal labour is neoliberal political economy and its decimation of employment protection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0
    Pages (from-to)77-93
    Number of pages17
    JournalTrends in Organized Crime
    Volume23
    Issue number0
    Early online date15 Sep 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2018

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