Labour Hire

Labour hire workers, also known as "on-hired workers" or "temps" are paid by their employer, but work at another organisation (called the "host employer").

The use of labour hire arrangements increased significantly in the 1990s and continues to increase. The labour hire agency and the host employer have shared responsibilities to protect the health and safety of labour hire workers.

WorkSafe's publication Case studies in labour hire - examples and learnings outlines good practices being implemented in the industry and opportunities for the organisations to enhance their OHS management systems.

A range of other publications and tools including worksheets and assessments are available on this website to assist labour hire agencies and host employers in indentifying and meeting their responsibilities.



Free Independent Occupational Health and Safety Advice

Take advantage of WorkSafe's OHS Essentials Program and receive free safety advice that comes to you. Small and medium sized labour hire companies can apply for the program. Find out more and apply today

Top

Download WorkSheets and Assessments

Top

Claims and Risks

The on-hire industry is experiencing growth both in the number of workers employed and the number of claims being received. The number of claims has increased faster than the increase in industry size, and the claims rate is not following the decreasing pattern displayed by all other employers.

To identify OHS issues concerning on-hired workers, WorkSafe Victoria commissioned a report reviewing local and international OHS guidance material and WorkSafe claims data. Some of the international findings from the report are that in many circumstances on-hire workers are particularly vulnerable to health and safety risks because they are:

  • less experienced due to younger age
  • exposed to greater work intensification pressures
  • exposed to greater risks, generally
  • less able to have discretion in the way tasks are performed
  • less represented at workplaces
  • more frequently exposed to unfamiliar workplaces
  • less likely to receive workplace specific training and induction
  • less qualified

Further research may help determine if some of these factors are relevant to Victorian workplaces.The report also found that on-hired workers are restricted from doing particularly dangerous work in five European countries. This work includes construction, mining, graphical and textiles industry work, work in explosive atmospheres, off-shore rigs, and work involving exposure to carcinogens and biological agents. Page 26 of the report includes further information on this issue.

View the labour hire report

Top

Parliamentary Inquiry into Labour Hire

The Economic Development Committee presented an Interim and Final Report on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Labour Hire Employment in Victoria.

  • Parliamentary Inquiry into Labour Hire in Victoria - Final Report

For further information on the Parliamentary Inquiry refer to its website at www.parliament.vic.gov.au/.

For further labour hire health and safety information contact Penny Drew on (03) 9091 4163 or email elizabeth_ kilduff@worksafe.vic.gov.au

For labour hire premium/workplace injury insurance queries, see below, or contact the Advisory Service.

Top

Labour Hire Research Report

In response to the 2005 Parliamentary Inquiry into Labour Hire Employment in Victoria, Monash University Australian Centre for Research in Employment and Work (ACREW) was commissioned by WorkSafe to conduct a qualitative research report on OHS in the labour hire industry.

In the report ACREW draws on interviews with stakeholders, practitioners, trainers, union officials and workers to produce case studies that illustrate progress towards best practice OHS management in the labour hire sector. The case studies demonstrate:

  • a commonality of understanding about OHS;
  • how a commitment to OHS management can enhance business value, including community, social, environmental and ethical goals;
  • how progress towards best practice is achievable within available resources, across small to large agencies and host organisations, and metropolitan and regional firms.

Click here to download a copy of the report

Top

New Premium Classification System For Labour Hire Agencies

WorkSafe will reclassify labour hire/on-hire activities from the 1 January 2006. The change is part of the broader 'new premium system', designed to improve Victoria's workplace insurance system. The new classification for labour hire agencies will better reflect the industry into which labour hire workers are placed, rather than the former broader "white or blue collar" industry classifications that are currently in place. This reclassification will better reflect the workplace risk and make the system more equitable across labour hire agencies, group training companies and recruitment companies.

Top

Publications

The labour hire agencies publication provides an overview of the OHS responsibilities of labour hire agencies and contains the more detailed 96 page 'Placing workers in safe workplaces: Safety management systems guide for labour hire agencies' publication.

Top

Popular Forms & Publications

Top