Temporary agency work and the evolving employment model in Australia
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This article reviews agency employment in Australia in the context of a shifting national employment model and underlying labour regulation regime. The development of agency employment is instructive in the way that standard employment, together with workforce collectivism, can be undermined, while exposing the inadequacies of national systems of labour regulation. Over recent years there has been a trend towards individualised and decollectivised employment models where increasingly, work and work arrangements, are becoming more fragmented and diverse. Concurrently, the rise of agency work has been steadily increasing, from a low base, across many OECD economies. Through this ongoing growth in agency work we can see some of the forces that are shaping the national labour employment models, while challenging traditional employment models. This article explores these developments in Australia by examining research and industry data in order to uncover what the agency sector says about itself, what it does, and what is revealed by the emerging patterns of agency employment.
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