Three’s company in an employment relationship


Currently, a number of Employers use Temp Agencies to source their Fixed Term, Casual or Part time Employees, with some Employers only offering permanent employment to the Employee if they ‘prove’ they are a good worker. However, some Employers use a Temp Agency to limit their obligations to the temp worker.

Proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 would enable a temp worker to raise a personal grievance against the Temp Agency and the Employer. Furthermore, if there is a collective agreement operating in your business, the coverage clause could extend to temp workers.

Therefore, if the temp worker believes that they have a personal grievance they have the ability to raise it against the Primary Employer (Temp Agency) and add the Secondary Employer (the Company where they are actually working) by lodging an application with the Employment Relations Authority.

If the personal grievance is successful, this would mean that the Employer may have to pay compensatory damages to the temp worker and take the Employee on as a permanent worker.

For Employers who utilise Temp Agencies to source their Employees because they want to limit their liability or obligations to temp workers, this may no longer be the case as the temp worker will now be able to raise a personal grievance against that Employer.

What could this mean for the future? We may see the reduction in use of Temp Agencies, or it may become pointless for a Company to utilise Temp Agencies as it provides no additional benefits for the Employer.

If you require further information about how this affects you, please feel free to get in touch – we would be happy to help.


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