Cast the Spotlight on Your Labour Hire “Arrangements”

In discussions throughout October and November about labour hire licensing, I’ve observed that there seems to be a bit of a misconception about who’s a provider and who’s merely an intermediary. 

The misconception is fueled by the false notion that it comes down to who’s on record as the employer.

We know that notion doesn’t stack up, because the labour hire licensing Acts all state that a person can be a labour hire provider regardless of whether the provider enters into any contract with the worker for the performance of the work.

One view that I’m coming to is that the critical question is not, “Who’s the employer?”; but rather, “Who makes a labour hire arrangement with the individual who performs the work?”

And those arrangements can come in many different forms.

There can even be more than one labour hire arrangement with the same worker in respect of the same labour hire transaction.

So, when you’re examining your workforce supply or procurement models, ask yourself this question: “Who makes ‘arrangements’ with the individuals who are to perform the work?”

Try to keep in mind that an “arrangement” need be nothing more than a plan of action between two people that may not be enforceable at law but which they have every intention of following to the extent that they feel some moral commitment to it.

Some of the answers could be:

  • Recruiters
  • Temp agencies
  • Payroll providers
  • Accommodation providers
  • Contractor management services providers
  • The individuals’ own entities – if they are operating as “incorporated workers”.

Give it a try.

Make a list, and then check to see whether the arrangements that you’ve identified need to be supported by labour hire licences (Qld, SA, Vic, ACT) and/or private employment agency licences (SA, WA, ACT).

You might be surprised at what you discover.

Andrew C. Wood

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