Labour hire is a cost-effective and efficient way for businesses (known as ‘hosts’) to employ a labour force of skilled and unskilled workers on a short-term or long-term temporary basis.
What Labour Hire Is
Labour hire is supplied by a labour agency that supplies individual workers with specific skills on a needs basis to a host business.
In the building and construction industry, for example, a labour agency is able to supply a variety of tradespeople, from electricians to plumbers, carpenters and builders.
Labour hire differs from contracting. A contractor is assigned to one task and supplies his or her own workforce who work only on that project whereas labour hire can be spread across all sectors in a business, including that assigned to the contractor.
How Labour Hire Works
Labour hire workers are employed by the labour agency, not the business whose site they are working at.
The labour agency outsources their employees to the host business for a fee that covers their pay, entitlements, taxes, insurance, workers’ compensation and other legal and financial requirements. (These must be written into the employee’s contract.)
The labour agency pays its employees an agreed-upon set rate that may differ from that of the other full-time employees and casual workers on site.
Due to the labour agency’s greater marketing capability, their database is larger than that of a contractor’s and attracts more highly skilled and qualified employees.
By acquiring labour hire through a labour agency, a host business can save on time and money by not having to advertise for recruitment and to spend time interviewing.
A site manager can rest assured that the new part-time labour hire will have been vetted for the appropriate skills and experience.
The labour agency also ensures that all safety procedures are in place on site, in consultation with the workplace OH&S representative.
This is another time and cost savings for the business as there are less paperwork to be done.
Instead of contacting several individuals for sperate jobs on a project, a labour agency can supply all the skills required with just one phone call.
Staff can be assigned within 24 hours, and there are no penalties if the job is cancelled or postponed up to an hour beforehand due to uncontrollable circumstances, like rain, strong winds or a delay in the supply chain.
What Labour Hire is Used For
Labour hire employment is a quick, efficient and effective way of finding qualified workers with expertise and experience for work:
- in peak times; for example, the Christmas season
- to replace staff shortages when workers are away on sick or annual leave
- in times of organisational or industry restructuring, a time when employees leave (not always voluntarily) and positions are left vacant and industry knowledge is absent.
- during technological changes, when tech experts can be sourced from the labour agency for just the duration of the upgrade.
Labour hire workers are also available for longer-term projects and positions.
As a site manager, imagine that you are responsible for building a warehouse with an end-date looming.
The warehouse is located in a country town on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. Suddenly, there’s a state border lockdown due to an outbreak of a virus.
(Yes, it happens!) The contractor you’ve employed can’t get hold of his usual workers who live on the other side of the border. What do you do?
Someone suggests labour hire. You ask, ‘what is labour hire employment?’ They recommend calling a labour agency at this point, as it will give you access to numerous expert workers, with only one phone call.
You get specialised skills for the exact length of time you need them for the required job. You also have the flexibility to change or extend the timeframe with them as required.
So, what is labour hire employment? It’s one of the best way to get qualified workers on time for all your buildings and construction projects.
Fast Labour Hire is Australia’s leading labour hire provider for the residential and commercial construction industry. Contact us today to see how we can supply quality labour hire for whatever jobs you need.