The Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment bill is currently in process in parliament. Based on the premise that labour hire workers are being exploited and not afforded the same rights as their permanent counterparts, this bill seeks to redress this “loophole”. I am sure that every business at one time or another has needed a short-term temporary worker and engaged a labour hire company or temp agency to provide that assistance. What this bill will mean to employers if it is passed is that a temporary staff member engaged through an agency can bring a personal grievance against both companies.
Usually if you hire a temp through an agency you can give one days’ notice that you no longer require their services – and you don’t need a reason like you do for a permanent employee. Now, the employee will be able to raise a personal grievance against the temp agency and the company that they temped for, for unjustified disadvantage and unjustified termination. This bill places this whole industry in jeopardy and adds incredible risk to small businesses.
I think we are about to see a massive change in both the recruitment industry and temp labour industry. While the final bill has not been enacted yet this will be making temp agencies very nervous about their impending risk. Clients will no longer be able to terminate the services as needed and we may even see temps being exposed to the same disciplinary processes and restructuring processes that permanent employees need. This will completely remove the flexibility in the industry and tie businesses hands. What was once a great back up for unexpected absence or increased production need will now become a mine field of employment legislation and risk for both businesses and agencies.
We will keep an eye on the bill’s progress and update you as needed. Call if you have any questions or concerns.
Tarryn has worked in HR for over 14 years and loves to solve problems. She is a self professed employment relations junkie! She lives in Auckland with her dedicated husband, tireless toddler and three special needs cats.