When looking at the Law of Employment, it is a firm principle that an employer is responsible for the well-being of their employees, and are vicariously liable for their actions, and providing a safe place for them to work. The reason for this surrounds the nature of the employer/employee relationship, with the employer displaying a degree of control over their employees.
Although this is the general case in most employer/employee relationships, the concept has become complicated with the introduction of labour hire agencies. Due to the introduction of these agencies, it has become more difficult to distinguish who is liable when an employee gets injured at work.
The difficulties presented to the law in this situation is the fact that labour hire agencies are often the businesses forming the contract of employment with the worker, while host businesses are controlling their day to day workload. Due to this, it is difficult to establish who has “control” of the employee, as required in the employer/employee relationship.
In response to this, Australian authorities have emphasised the concept of “ultimate control”, such as right to discipline and dismissal retained by the labour hire agency.