Triangular Employment Law Change

Government has addressed employment relations for third party contracted employees in the workplace and has announced the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act, which has come into effect on 29 June 2020.

Triangular Employment is where the employee is introduced to a business (and paid by) by a third party – usually on a temporary basis or specific contracted period, or to work on a specific assignment. In practical terms, this means that if a contractor or temp employee is disadvantaged, mistreated or discriminated in the workplace, he or she may bring a grievance against both the employer whose workplace they are placed in and the third party who has placed him or her there.

This change requires employers of temporary workers to be far more focused on the welfare of their employee while in the care of another employer than is presently the case – and closes a gap in employment welfare that has caused issues for many employees & contractors.

Examples of Triangular Recruitment include:

  • Temps placed in short term roles by temp agencies.
  • Contractors put in place for fixed term contracts.
  • Contractors employed to manage specific processes or projects.
  • Secondment by an employer of an employee to another business – for example to oversee implantation of a technical project on site for an ongoing project.
  • Work for hire arrangements.
  • Subcontractors or employees on site for tradespeople – plumbers etc on domestic or commercial jobs, or security teams on site at events.

All aspects of induction and process management training will be required to be handled as if the external or temporary party were an employee to ensure it is a safe working experience.

On site employees in Construction are already required to undergo site safety training before commencing work. This Amendment ensures they are protected if that does not happen adequately.

This effectively makes the on-site employer responsible for the health and wellness of all employees on site.

Employers should utilise all standard good workplace process for recruitment of external or temporary employees as they do for internal.

Any grievances raised would be managed in the same manner as grievances against primary employers involving investigation including mediation.