Unfair Dismissal Protection for Labour Hire Workers? Implementing the Doctrine of Joint Employment in Australia

Pauline Bomball

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    In a labour hire relationship, a worker is engaged by a labour hire agency and assigned to work for another organisation. The functions traditionally exercised by a single employer are distributed between the agency and the other organisation. Australian courts and tribunals experience significant problems in determining how responsibility should be ascribed to each entity when a labour hire worker is unfairly dismissed. This article examines whether the doctrine of joint employment, developed in the United States of America, would address the problems with ascribing responsibility for unfair dismissal in labour hire relationships and, if so, how it could be implemented in Australia. The article contends that the doctrine would address the problems. However, the doctrine cannot operate effectively as part of the common law of Australia. Accordingly, the article proposes a statutory model for implementing joint employment in Australia for the purposes of unfair dismissal claims by labour hire workers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)152-178
    JournalAustralian Journal of Labour Law
    Volume25
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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