Published: 16 November 2015
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas
Labour hire horrors – what’s your story?
“I was contracting with an ABN but to one employer only. I know this is illegal and I know myself and other workers are being paid incorrectly through an ABN but to speak up is to lose your job. If work cover is mentioned it's a big issue.” - Geelong
This is just one of hundreds of stories that are now being gathered and shared by workers who have been scammed by labour hire firms.
Insecure work, largely through labour hire firms, has become a curse for many employees, undermining their workplace rights and access to a reliable income.
As a result, people are finding it increasing hard to save money, commit to loan repayments, take sick leave, or plan holidays.
Share your labour hire horror story
Victorian trade unions have been pushing to have the labour hire industry that is often characterised by sham contracting arrangements, properly regulated.
The Andrews Government’s inquiry into insecure work has now been set up to investigate that industry, and most importantly, will listen to the stories told by people who have been exploited by it.
The Inquiry has been completed and the Inquiry Final Report can be read at https://engage.vic.gov.au/inquiry-labour-hire-industry-and-insecure-work
Here is a sample of what employees are saying...
“I was employed through a labour hire agency more than a year ago. It took several weeks for pay to be paid. This happened several times. I was working three to four times a week and needed to swap a day. They agreed by email then mixed the day up and blamed me. They did not want to pay for some small work expenses. Then they found someone else because I spoke up about these issues.” - Ballarat
“I was contracting with an ABN and working as labour hire at the same workplace during the same period. The problem is no penalties rates and job insecurity. I have no recourse for dispute settlement, if I complain they'll tell me the work dried up. It's that simple.” - Mildura
“I was employed through a labour hire agency in my current job. Previous to me being in the site, people had brought up genuine safety concerns and were then told by the foreman to get their booked signed and f&@k off and not returning to that site. Have no idea if I'm getting any money at all week to week, last week I worked 5 days this week I haven't worked one!!!” - Melbourne