Australia - The Licensing of Temporary Agency Work Arrangements: Australian Labour Hire Licensing Acts and the Regulation of On-Hire and Gig Work
American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, International Committee Newsletter, July 2018
7 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 18, 2018
This note analyses laws which license labour hire services and sanction those who fail to obtain licenses, or contract for labour hire services with parties who do not hold such a licence. While employment remains the primary means of regulating work, a significant percentage of the workforce are retained as bailees, homeworkers, independent contractors and on-hire workers.
Workers who are not in standard employment relationships are often regarded by organized labor and the International Labour Organization as precarious and more vulnerable to exploitation. How law, organized labor and the State should respond to non-standard work is almost always divisive and often comes as a wave following a high-profile event. Following some significant high-profile abuse cases involving labour hire workers, Australian parliamentary inquiries were launched and have confirmed that worker exploitation is occurring in this industry. Their findings, while not surprising, provided the political impetus for regulatory intervention. While the Australian labour hire licensing reforms will be of interest for Australian and comparative lawyers, the exterritorial operation of these laws will have impact on businesses based beyond Australia’s shores.
Keywords: labour, hire licensing
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