There are many reasons why Councils in NSW can benefit from using labour hire and temporary staffing through Local Government Procurement Contract 808-4 (LGP808-4). This article summarises and outlines the main benefits as well as some of the less obvious positive aspects of engaging temporary and casual staff.
- Flexibility and scalability: Local Councils often face fluctuating workloads and changing demands. Labour hire and temporary staffing allow them to flexibly adjust their workforce based on the specific needs of different projects, seasonal variations, or unexpected events such as natural disasters and short-term State or Federal funding. They can quickly scale up or down their workforce without the long-term commitment and administrative burden associated with permanent employment.
- Cost-effectiveness: Hiring permanent employees involves significant costs such as salaries, benefits, training, and administrative expenses. Temporary staffing allows Councils to control labour costs and optimise their budgetary allocations as they only pay for the services rendered or hours worked, avoiding expenses related to recruitment, onboarding, and employee benefits. This cost-effective approach helps in efficient management of limited resources.
- Wide range of skills and expertise: Temporary staffing can provide Councils with access to a diverse pool of skilled professionals who possess specialised knowledge and expertise. From labourers to trade qualified professionals, administrative and specialised workers with specific backgrounds (customer service, accounting, human resources, finance, procurement, engineering, community work, hospitality, IT and so on) – employment agencies included on the 808-4 (LGP808-4) panel are able to provide a wide variety of staffing options to suit all of Councils’ staff requirements.
- Knowledge transfer and innovation: Temporary staff members can bring in fresh perspectives and advanced practices from their diverse experiences working with different industry sectors. Their short-term presence can contribute to knowledge transfer within the Council, promoting continuous learning and improvement, enhancing productivity and innovation. Whether it is engineering, urban planning, environmental management, or community development, amongst other roles, temporary staff can supplement the existing workforce and fill the skill gaps effectively and in a timely manner.
- Risk mitigation and compliance: Utilising temporary staffing can help Councils mitigate certain employment risks, such as unfair dismissal claims or redundancy costs. Temporary staff are engaged through employment agencies, which handle employment-related matters, including legal compliance, wages, superannuation, payroll tax (where applicable), workers’ compensation, complying with modern slavery requirements and adhering to equal employment opportunities for temporary workers. This allows local government to focus on core functions and strategic objectives while avoiding potential legal complexities.
- No tender-related costs: Using your choice employment agencies on the LGP 808-4 panel – whether that is one agency or several agencies – is achieved without having to spend time and money on conducting an internal Council tendering process, whilst also ensuring that your Council is complying with the Local Government Act. Any Council’s procurement team can review potential suppliers from the panel and select the most appropriate agency/ies that suit their needs, without having obligations to other agencies listed on the panel.
- On-line time sheeting, invoicing and reporting: Many employment agencies have internal IT systems which enable Council to use electronic timesheets, receive electronic invoices and log into their own portal to access real time reporting of labour hire and temporary staff use. This enables close monitoring of expenditure and volume of labour hire and temporary staffing.
- Potential zero transition costs: The costs and conditions associated with transition of labour hire and temporary staff to permanent roles can be clarified with the employment agency before engaging them for recruitment. Some agencies, depending on the circumstances, may not charge any extra costs for this transition, further reducing the costs of permanent recruitment.
- Grievance procedure and performance management: As the temporary worker is employed by the agency, any grievance procedures or performance management requirements are provided and overseen by the agency.
Engaging temporary staff can assist Councils with addressing urgent matters and last-minute requirements without overloading the internal human resources team, as it removes the necessity to complete internal onboarding processes with the exception of a site induction on commencement. It can also assist with limiting overtime completed by permanent workers and relieving the pressure on impacted teams, while supplying the necessary skills and expertise. Using temporary staff can be highly effective, especially for those types of works that could take internal Council staff away from their core responsibilities. It can also provide relief to the teams impacted by absence of workers due to sickness or long service leave, or teams responsible for resolving the aftermath of natural disasters in the area.
There are many reasons for Councils to use Labour Hire and Temporary Staffing through the Local Government Procurement 808-4 panel for Human Resources– Permanent, Temporary Placements and Associated Services. All it takes is a phone call to any of the agencies on the panel to discuss how to work with them most effectively for Council’s benefit.
by Stephen Jolly, Complete Staff Solutions.