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Victorian Labour Hire Inquiry Report raises some valid issues, but not all of the recommendations have merit

"The Report of the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work, as released today, raises some valid issues but not all of the recommendations have merit. It is essential that in dealing with a very small minority of disreputable labour hire operators, an undue regulatory burden is not imposed on the vast majority of labour hire companies and their clients," Tim Piper, Head of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Industry Group, said today. 

"As recognised in the report, the labour hire industry provides vital flexibility to employers and employees. Industrial laws and awards apply to labour hire companies and their employees in the same manner as other employers and employees.

"Ai Group does not agree with the Recommendation that enterprise agreements should be permitted to include clauses requiring that labour hire contractors provide the same wages and conditions as their clients. These clauses are not appropriate and they need to be outlawed as recommended by the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Workplace Relations Framework, the Heydon Royal Commission and the Harper Competition Review.

"Recommendation 35 is also problematic. Companies that employ a large proportion of casual workers should not be locked out of Government contracts. There are very different patterns of casual employment across industries, reflecting differences in industry characteristics and the nature of work. For example, a large proportion of labour hire workers are casual due to the fact that labour hire businesses typically have no certainty regarding their clients' workforce needs. Labour hire businesses should not be locked out of Government contracts because they need the flexibility that casual employment offers. Also, client companies that engage labour hire workers who are casuals should not be locked out.

"However, it should be noted that numerous unworkable proposals suggested by various parties during the Inquiry were rejected. “Ai Group looks forward to participating in the Victorian Government's consultation process as it works through the specific measures that will be taken in response to the report," Mr Piper said.

Ai Group's submission to the Victorian Labour Hire Inquiry

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