The Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act
The Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Bill covers employment situations of a ‘triangular nature’. For example, an employee is employed by
Company A, but undertakes work for the benefit of and under the control and management of Company B, which typically, would have the control over the employee. Workers under secondments and temp staff would fall under this category.
Under a triangular arrangement, the affected employee may now bring a grievance against both their employer and the owner of the business they are contracted to if they feel they have been unfairly treated or discriminated against.
Obviously, The Authority would need to be satisfied with the findings, and would consider if there is in fact an arguable case, understand if the actions of the controlling party had contributed to the PG and if this was raised within 90 days of the alleged PG. They can also include the controlling party to the proceedings should they decide to do so. If this is the case, the controlling party may be required to attend mediation and / or be ordered to pay some level of compensation for possible lost earnings and distress etc.
For employers with good HR processes this should not be a concern, but please be aware if you have created a situation for temporary workers on site that is less than 100% of the required standard for employees, you are putting your business at risk.
Of course, this also applies to any managers who may be overseeing temps on site on your behalf, so please ensure all your departmental managers are aware of this change in legislation.
Consider undertaking an assessment of the real nature of the relationship between the parties and take into considerations some factors such as direction, control, management and supervision.
If you are unsure of what this could look like or how to determine what this means, please contact us as we have a tool, we use with our clients for exactly this purpose.
Remember, that the law has previously changed to allow a worker who is successful in claiming a PG against the employer, to now be reinstated back into their role- which I am sure is every Employer’s worst nightmare!