WP 38 - The OHS regulatory challenges posed by agency workers: Evidence from Australia

Author/s (editor/s):

Johnstone, Richard
Quinlan, Michael

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Peer Reviewed Publication: Johnstone, Richard, and Michael Quinlan.(2006). “The OHS Regulatory Challenges of Agency Labour: Evidence from Australia” 28 Employee Relations 3, 273-289. 

Labour leasing or agency labour (also known as labour hire in Australia and New Zealand) is a rapidly growing work arrangement in most if not all industrialised countries. Unlike the two-party employer/employee relationship, labour leasing establishes a three-party or triangular relationship between the worker, the agency that supplies them and the host employer. There is emerging evidence that this triangular relationship, in combination with the temporary nature of most placements, poses particular problems for laws regulating employment conditions (industrial relations, occupational health and safety (OHS), and workers’ compensation/social security) and the agencies administering them. This paper examines recent Australian experience with regard to protecting the health and safety of agency workers, drawing on detailed interviews and workplace visits with inspectors, as well as analysis of statutory provisions, documentary records (such as reports and guidance material), and enforcement activity (notably prosecutions) by OHS agencies.

Cite the publication as

Johnstone, Richard, 2005, WP 38 - The OHS regulatory challenges posed by agency workers: Evidence from Australia, National Research Centre for OHS Regulation, Canberra

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