Wed, Jul 21, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Labor council spotlights third-party hiring rules

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Council of Labor Affairs yesterday said that third-party hiring is becoming more prevalent and requires tighter regulation.

"Labor laws do not presently specify the ways this kind of hiring may proceed. Because it involves three parties, the lack of legal specifications could result in difficulties," council Chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊) said during a seminar yesterday.

Third-party hiring refers to workers who are employed by one party and then assigned to work for a second employer. The practice is popular with recruiting agencies, who hire temporary workers for distribution to client companies.

"Flexibility has become a way in which companies may increase their competitiveness. The growth in third-party hiring is a result of industry and the workforce moving towards a more flexible system," Chen said.

The seminar invited human resources experts, labor experts, academics and business owners to examine labor contract laws and training needs in relation to third-party hiring.

According to a recent council study on the topic of "unconventional employment modes," the next year will see 11.2 percent of businesses utilizing this form of hiring, an increase that will make third-party hiring the most common mode of unconventional employment.

"The firm that hires the worker and the firm that the worker provides a service for have joint res-ponsibility as employers," Chen said. "The lack of specifics in the labor laws show up this issue as detrimental to the trend toward flexible employment."

Chen also said that a number of other issues had to be examined further, such as what rights should be granted to employees, whether special laws needed to be enacted for third-party hiring and whether amendments to labor contract rules needed fine-tuning.

The council plans to send draft regulations to the Executive Yuan by the end of the year. However, some experts and academics argue that having a separate law for third-party hiring is not necessary; instead, they say, the focus should be on modifying the Employment Standard Law (勞動基準法) to suit the situation.

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