Melbourne, Monday July 20th: The Recruitment & Consulting Services Association (RCSA), the peak body for the employment services sector, with members including on-hire and labour-hire companies, has welcomed a resolution of the Australian Council of Trade Unions National Executive to ‘stamp out’ unscrupulous labour hire companies.
“RCSA shares the ACTU’s concern about the actions of a handful of sham and unscrupulous labour-hire companies that are breaking the law and exploiting workers,” said RCSA President Robert van Stokrom FRCSA.
All those involved in the supply or purchase of employment services have a responsibility to act within the law and to protect the rights and entitlements of workers the RCSA President noted in a recent Letter to the Editor that said, ‘Employers (including on-hire and labour-hire companies) have a well-defined responsibility to satisfy themselves as to the bona fides of their suppliers and that their systems are legal and ethical. Employers that attempt to side-step their obligations are both breaking the law and placing the well-being and safety of workers at risk.’
The RCSA President also noted that since 2003, the RCSA Code for Professional Conduct has provided a sound basis for the regulation of employment services companies. However, the RCSA Code in its present form only applies to RCSA members.
On June 15th, the RCSA released for public consultation its proposal for an Employment Services Industry Code (ESIC) which could for the first time provide a single national framework for the regulation of all employment service providers and users of those services in the employment services and on-hire marketplace.
“RCSA has been developing an ESIC for some time, and on this basis we believe a regulated environment for the employment services industry will provide the opportunity to eliminate unscrupulous companies that operate outside the law and to protect the rights of workers and employers,” said Robert van Stokrom FRCSA.
“We have thus far received wide ranging support for the proposal from the community and business, and we look forward to receiving feedback and support for the proposed ESIC from the ACTU and the Federal Government as we seek to set a new standard for the legal and ethical conduct of all parties in the supply of labour,” said Mr van Stokrom FRCSA.
The ESIC, which could operate federally under the Australian Competition and Consumer Law, incorporates key provisions of the ILO’s (International Labour Organisation) Convention C181 – Private Employment Agencies, 1997. It also includes provisions from R188 (the ILO’s Private Employment Agencies Recommendation); the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Forced Labour Convention and other international human rights documents – many of which have been recognised by Australia and passed into domestic legislation.
The ILO discusses in its Guide to Private Employment Agencies. Regulation, monitoring and enforcement the benefits of a regulated environment that works in partnership with existing legislation to improve the functioning of the labour market. The RCSA is keen to hear from a broad cross-section of the community about the ESIC. The public consultation closes on Friday 14th August 2015. For further details about the ESIC, and to provide comments or feedback, go to www.rcsa.com.au
About the RCSA: The Recruitment & Consulting Services Association (RCSA) is the leading industry body for the employment services sector in Australia and New Zealand. With over 3,000 corporate and individual Members, the Association sets professional standards, conducts research, educates and develops members’ skills, monitors industry developments and lobbies government on issues directly affecting members.
RCSA is a member of Ciett (International Confederation of Private Employment Services). Ciett is committed to promoting international fair recruitment practices and to upholding high quality standards. Ciett participates in several projects including an ILO project to promote ethical recruitment practices, and the RCSA is a signatory to the Ciett code of conduct.