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The Ethical Agendas of Employment Agencies Towards Migrant Workers in the UK: Deciphering the Codes

Chris Forde and Robert MacKenzie
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 97, Supplement 1: Mind the Gap (2010), pp. 31-41
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41315815
Page Count: 11
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The Ethical Agendas of Employment Agencies Towards Migrant Workers in the UK: Deciphering the Codes
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Abstract

This article examines the connections between employment agencies, ethics and migrant workers. The article identifies three approaches adopted by agencies towards ethics and migrant workers, namely, ' business case', 'minimal compliance' and ' social justice' approaches. Through case studies of three agencies in the UK, the article explores the potential and limitations of each of these approaches for meeting the needs of migrant workers. The article points to the limitations of both the business case and 'minimal compliance' approaches, stemming from tensions between the attempt to put in place ethical approaches towards the employment of migrant workers and the imperatives of the competitive strategies being pursued by agencies. The article points to the potential for social enterprise agencies to effectively meet the needs of migrants. These agencies can focus on more than just the first transition of migrants into the labour market; can formalize transitions within the labour market and link people to jobs that are more appropriate to their skills and experience, as a means of preventing the perpetuation of skill underutilisation.

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