Regulating the Fissured Workplace: A Comparison of European Models and Australian Developments Relating to Labour Hire


Dates and times: 

March 27, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00


Melbourne Law School
185 Pelham Street
Carlton VIC 3053


Triangular work arrangements such as 'labour hire' or 'agency work' are part of a broader set of work organisation models, which typify the modern fissured workplace. The current development of state-based labour hire licensing schemes in Australia calls for a broader understanding of how other regulatory systems have sought to keep pace with the fragmentation of the standard employment relationship and the dispersal of employer functions across firm boundaries. In this respect, continental European countries, such as Italy, provide an interesting model for comparison, given that they have experimented with a range of protective measures which are yet to be fully tested in Australia. In particular, agency work has long been the subject of detailed and restrictive regulation in Italy. However, this may come at the expense of effectively protecting workers in other organisational forms, such as subcontracting chains. The strengths and weaknesses of the Italian framework may prove instructive when considering the future direction of labour hire regulation in Australia.

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