The Inquiry into the labour hire industry and insecure work in Victoria - video transcript

Launch of the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work - YouTube


[Title:  Launch of the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work]

[Vision:  People mingling]

Matt O'Connor - Deputy Secretary Industrial Relations Victoria

I should note at the outset that the report recognises the substantial contribution made by the labour hire industry to Victoria's economy.  It notes that labour hire enables a flexible approach to the engagement of workers which assists business to deal with peaks and troughs in demand without some of the constraints that can sometimes be associated with engaging ongoing employees.

[Vision:  Victorian Inquiry report]

But the report also acknowledges that there are major issues that need to be rectified, to ensure that exploitation and in some cases illegal activity, does not continue in some significant quarters of the market.

Professor Anthony Forsyth - Chair, The Inquiry into Labour Hire and Insecure Work

Overall I found that there is significant evidence of a two-tiered employment system in Victoria.  Many labour hire workers, and those in insecure working arrangements, receive unfavourable treatment in the workplace.  This can range from outright exploitation, mainly through underpayments, but also through to more subtle differential treatment in relation to things like health and safety, dismissal and rostering practices.

[Vision:  Cleaner - shop owner - packer]

For many of these workers there's a high level of financial insecurity, difficulty planning for the future, and stress relating to work/life balance.

[Vision:  Gardener - butcher - gardener]

And for many, working as a labour hire casual, most labour hire workers are engaged on a casual basis, or working on a rolling fixed-term contract is the only employment option available, but they would prefer a permanent job.

[Vision:  meat workers - cleaner]

Although I heard evidence of noncompliance labour practices across many sectors, the horticulture, meat processing, and cleaning industries really stood out.

[Vision:  Forklift driver - construction worker]

I think this report has substantive public value, as the compilation of the evidence about what's going on in Victorian workplaces, and what needs to be fixed.

[Professor Anthony Forsyth speaking]

And I look forward to the Government's response and hope that the recommendations can be implemented.  Thank you.

[Vision:  Victorian Inquiry report]

Natalie Hutchins - Minister for Industrial Relations

There's no room for doubt, in reading this report, and no shortage of case studies, to really talk about what some of the issues are, that are being faced in our economy in Victoria.

[Vision:  Office workers - metal worker]

But also around Australia, that are being utilised to effect contract and casual and part-time workers.

[Natalie Hutchins speaking]

And the need for us to do something about it is pretty clear.

[Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work]

Page last updated: 15 December 2016