HR, Safety and Compliance for Labour Hire Businesses

Many organisations employ labour hire workers across their sites. Establishing a compliant health and safety system is essential to ensuring the health and well-being of workers.

Labour hire standards are covered under the model WHS Act. In line with this, Safe Work Australia have released a compliance guide - Labour hire: duties of persons conducting a business or undertaking providing information for persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs).

In Comply Flow, the company hosting workers (host PCBUs) is referred to as the Client and the company supplying workers (Labour Hire PCBUs) are the Contractor or Supplier. Both the Client and the Contractor must ensure compliance with WHS legislation.

This article sets out key tips for labour hire companies looking to ensure they are up to date with HR, safety and compliance requirements.

1. Identify who holds key responsibilities and duties

Who holds duties and responsibilities regarding labour hire workers?

Under the Model WHS Act the primary duty of care falls to the person conducting a business or undertaking. Therefore, both Client and the Contractor (or labour hire business) have the obligation to reasonably ensure the health and safety of labour hire workers.

To ensure compliance with WHS legislation, the client and labour hire contractor must communicate and share relevant information with each other regarding the labour hire workers and all relevant worksites.

This information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Compliance with WHS standards and legal requirements.
  • Potential hazards, risks and relevant control measures.
  • Safe work methods and training requirements.
  • Facilitation and assessment of workers needs

The client and the labour hire contractor should work together to ensure that hazards and risks are reviewed when circumstances change, such as changes to the physical setting or changes within the process or procedures.

2. Determine your duty to consult

What resources does your company have available? How will you communicate with the client and the labour hire workers on client sites?

Under the Model WHS Act, businesses have a duty to consult with employees, and this includes labour hire employees placed on a client’s site. The clients also have a duty to consult with Labour Hire companies and employees placed on their worksites.

To ensure compliance with legislation, companies may have a health and safety representative (HSR) who are able to raise issues and concerns on behalf of employees. If your company does not have a HSR, formal consultation policies, procedures and processes can be put in place to ensure workers have a documented system to follow. PCBUs must also ensure that any hazards, incidents, near misses or other WHS issues are reported to both the client and contractor.

Before placing a worker on a host site, an agreement should be reached with a consultation process to ensure that ongoing communication is ensuing between all parties. Consultation can be conducted during the regular workplace visits or separate meetings can be set up with the client to raise and discuss any issues or concerns regarding labour hire employees on their work sites.

3. Steps to ensure compliance

Tips to ensure you remain compliant with your legal obligations and ensure the safety and well-being of workers.

Before an agreement is reached and a worker is placed with a host company, a labour hire agency should, depending on what is reasonably practicable, exercise due diligence by:

  • reviewing the client’s (host’s) safety record
  • auditing workplaces for health and safety risks
  • providing a general safety induction, covering consultation methods (to ensure workers are aware of who to contact if they have concerns)
  • ensuring the host will provide specific inductions and training tailored to the workplace and tasks that will be undertaken
  • sharing worker documentation, such as competencies and qualifications with the host client.
  • confirming the appropriate protective equipment is provided, where necessary.
  • assembling information about the workplace and tasks to be undertaken.
  • ensuring continuous consultation between all parties

Following the above guidelines (and documenting the processes, to provide proof of compliance) will help to ensure your company has taken the adequate steps to meet the relevant obligations under work health and safety legislation.

Comply Flow Connect allows any Labour Hire businesses to share their worker documents, such as competencies and qualifications, for free. This is an easy way for the Client to access accurate and up to date information and all parties can ensure that their entire workforce is compliant and work-ready.

If you’re a labour hire business (or any other type of supplier) looking for an easy way to share company docs, tickets, qualifications and competencies with your host Clients then Comply Flow’s online HR Document Management system makes this a breeze.

Get started in 5 simple steps

  1. Create a Free Account for your Company
  2. Add your Workers to the account
  3. Assign Document Requirements to your workforce
  4. Upload Documents once
  5. Share these Workers with your Clients

The Client Connect service is free for an unlimited number of workers (and documents). You also only have to upload each document once per worker and this will stay up to date for any Clients you have shared these workers with.

Register today to get started

If you want to learn more about how Comply Flow can help your labour hire business? Get in touch today!