The problem with the labour hire industry in Australia

  • magda
Labour hire industry in Australia

There is a massive problem with the Labour Hire industry at the moment. With the massive growth of the construction industry, there has been also a growth in the demand for Labour Hire as there are delays in doing projects or they need to meet deadlines. The need for extra Labour is ever increasing.

The problem is that there is little or no regulation on these Labour Hire companies. Most (not all) but a vast majority are abusing the system. Recruiting backpackers on working holiday visas who are desperate for work, and who have little or no English. They have no construction experience what so ever but as long as they have a white card, steel toe boots and a hard hat they send them on a busy construction site the very next day.

This is a massive problem and one that nobody seems to care about or is doing anything about. These Labour Hire companies are just looking for a quick buck. They don’t seem to care at all about the people they employ. No training is given whatsoever, they are not supplied with PPE ( Personal Protective Equipment ). Even they are not given a uniform. These companies want to make the maximum profit out of exploiting their workers.

Now it is not only the Labour Hire companies that are to blame here. Also, they are the contractors who hire them. Obviously, contractors are under immense pressure to finish projects on time and on budget. Sometimes they have no choice but to engage these companies to get a mass amount of labour at the cheapest cost possible. What that does is creates a market for these cheap labour companies to exist. They are able to offer these cheap labourers because they do not invest any money in them or provide proper safety and equipment training.

Dr Elsa Underhill (a leading labour market policy researcher at RMIT) adds:

“There is also a proliferation of labour hire firms avoiding paying employee entitlements and tax through phoenix activities” –

The main problem is at the very top there is little or no regulation. Restrictions and penalties are unheard of for bad practices Labour Hire companies. They all seem to be just able to get away with it. We have heard time and time again from all our clients about their past experiences with other Labour Suppliers. That is our key objective to address all these issues.

Dr Elsa Underhill:

“The problem is that there are labour hire companies that do all of the right things in terms of training, communication with their workers and going the extra mile in terms of safety.” –

“They are the ones that are undercut by the ones with poor practices. Those companies are losing business to those companies who are really just in it for a fast buck and who take little notice of their employment obligations.” –

“You need a system that creates a floor so that better companies can operate without continually being undercut.”

Here at Perfect Hire, we are trying to combat these issues head-on. Having multiple ISO Certifications means we can manage a larger workforce and provide proper training and induction practices. We provide career pathways for each and every one of our team members. Also, we provide in-house safety and equipment training. This is part of our company induction. Another item we provide is full PPE for all employees as well as uniforms.