Peak body for labour hire sector says blanket regulation won’t stop rogues

The national peak industry body for the recruitment and staffing sector, RCSA, said the Australian labour hire sector needs more collaborative action to address rogue operators, rather than more regulation and red tape.

RCSA CEO Charles Cameron made the call in response to today’s announcement by the Federal Opposition to introduce a national policy to ‘tackle unfair labour hire’.

“Australia needs work laws that respect how Australians are working in 2018,” RCSA CEO Charles Cameron said in response to today’s announcement. “Australians don't want to be told to work the same way as everyone else, they want options and the capacity to adapt”.

“Contract, part time and labour hire work has been in existence for decades. These forms of employment aren't new and, in the main, they aren't problematic.

“What we need is to support, recognise and protect the work of professional firms and work collectively to remove the unethical operators in this space. This won’t be achieved via more blanket regulation. We need 2018 solutions to 2018 challenges.

“Labour hire hasn't grown in 20 years and part time employment is increasing because more Australians prefer to fit work around life, rather than life around work”.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to Australian work laws may have worked in the 80s, but it won't work in 2018 and beyond,” Mr Cameron said. “Australia needs constructive thinking and we need the industry to be engaged as part of the solution to ensure the nation is well placed to remain competitive within the global economy.”

Mr Cameron said the latest proposal to introduce a Same Job, Same Pay policy would create an enormous administrative burden while depriving workers and employees of the right to establish agreements that suit their specific circumstances.

“Moreover, a broad but narrow approach to labour-licensing adds a cost and administrative burden to the sector while doing nothing to stamp out worker exploitation,” he said.

“The labour hire sector creates pathways to permanent work for many Australians and many people to choose the flexibility it offers,” Mr Cameron said. “The sector deserves a more sophisticated understanding and approach from policy makers and politicians.”

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