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latest news in employment law

Countdown setting benchmark for labour hire

Published 01 Oct 2018

The supermarket chain, Countdown, was praised by FIRST Union's Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing Secretary, Jared Abbott for their benchmark commitments towards their labour-hire workers. 

Countdown's commitment will affect nearly a thousand workers, stationed at their various distribution centres across New Zealand. The agreement will not only see the workers hourly wage increase to a minimum of $25.00 but also an increase in their paid sick leave. 

According to FIRST Union the agreement also includes a stringent auditing process to ensure labour-hire companies are engaging workers lawfully. 

Labour-hire is also known as 'Triangular employment'. This is when a worker is engaged to carry out work with at a company (client) but the worker's contract is with another company. The worker is placed on the site of the "client", but the worker is employed by the "broker". Payment is made to the "broker" by the "client" and the "broker" in return will pay the worker.

A common problem with these kind of relationships is that even though the worker is placed on site at a client, that worker will not enjoy the same rights and benefits as the employees of the company as they are not being employed by that company, but by a third party. It is alleged that this leaves a door open for exploitation of workers.