Labour Hire workers have been portrayed in the media recently as being underpaid and exploited by Labour Hire companies, resulting in the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 being established in a bid to regulate the industry.
So what is Labour Hire and what are the risks and benefits to employees?
Labour Hire companies function as an employer: sourcing staff, screening them, skill testing them and effectively managing any issues. Host employers pay agencies a fixed fee which includes taxes, insurance, statutory charges and staff wages. The benefit to the host employer is that they get the skilled workforce they need without undergoing the recruitment process themselves. They don’t have to focus on scheduling or worry about employee availability – that’s the role of the Labour Hire company.
Recently, the Victorian Government has been investigating the effects of a ‘gig economy’ amongst claims that workers are being underpaid and exploited. The term ‘gig economy’ is defined as being a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. While the Andrews Government seems to be investigating this specifically in relation to digital platforms (such as Uber and Deliveroo), many workers are employed under Temporary work arrangements whereby their work arrangements can change at any given time. The Senate report also seeks to address the issue of ‘permanent casuals’, including those working for Labour Hire companies.
The risks to employees when working for some unscrupulous Temporary employment companies is that they may face uncertainty with regards to guaranteed hours or ongoing work. There are, however, benefits to working for a Temporary employment company that are often not portrayed in the media. As a company with a predominantly Temporary workforce who has operated within the industry with highest degrees of integrity over the last 25 years, Flexi is in a unique position to talk about the benefits of Labour Hire to employees. As we work with a large number of businesses in Melbourne’s Northern and Western suburbs who utilize our Temporary employment services, we frequently offer ‘top up’ work for employees who need to increase their hours. Additionally, if a company is experiencing a downturn, we can transition their workforce to a different employer. Employees have increased flexibility because they can schedule their available hours around personal and family commitments. When operating with integrity, Labour Hire can be a win-win for both the employee and employer.
Want to find our more about how Labour Hire works? Speak to the recruitment team at Flexi Personnel.