Labour hire workers assigned to work for another company may be eligible for compensation if
they sustain an injury during their employment. In New South Wales (NSW), these workers
have the right to seek compensation from both their direct employer, known as the labour hire
company, and the company they are assigned to, often referred to as the “host employer.”
Entitlements from the Employer
If a worker is injured while employed by a labour-hire company, they can claim benefits under
the Workers Compensation Act 1987. These benefits include weekly payments, coverage for
medical treatment, and lump sum payments for permanent impairment. Workers who can
demonstrate at least 15% whole-person impairment may also have the option to sue their
employer for past and future income loss.
Entitlements from the Host Employer
In addition to the direct employer, an injured worker may have a claim against the host
employer if they can prove that the host employer failed in their duty of care. Pursuing a claim
against the host employer has advantages over solely relying on workers’ compensation
benefits. It allows the worker to seek general damages under common law, which includes
compensation for pain and suffering, past and future treatment expenses, wage loss, loss of
superannuation, and more. Importantly, there is no requirement to meet the 15% impairment
threshold to make a claim against the host employer, providing an option for compensation for
those who fall below this threshold.
Example Illustration (fictional)
Consider the case of Bob, who is employed by Active Staffing Solutions and assigned to work at
WaterPipes R Us, a factory producing irrigation pipes. Bob’s interactions with Active Staffing
Solutions are limited to receiving pay slips and tax records. While working at WaterPipes R Us,
Bob’s hand is injured by a malfunctioning cutting machine, resulting in the loss of two fingers.
Bob can initially seek compensation from the workers’ compensation insurer of Active Staffing
Solutions, but the benefits may be limited. However, Bob may also have a valid negligence
claim against WaterPipes R Us, which can provide more comprehensive compensation for his
To succeed in a claim against the host employer, the injured worker must demonstrate that the
host employer owed them a duty of care and was negligent. This often arises when the host
employer exercises significant control over the worker’s tasks. Expert opinions play a crucial
role in proving that the circumstances leading to the injury presented a foreseeable risk that
could have been prevented.
Seeking Legal Advice
It is important for injured workers to seek legal advice promptly if they are injured while
working for a host employer. Strict time limits apply, and court proceedings must generally be
initiated within three years of the injury.
Labour hire workers may have entitlements to compensation from both their direct employer
and the host employer if they suffer work-related injuries. Understanding these entitlements
and seeking legal advice when necessary is crucial for protecting their rights and securing
How Bale Boshev can help
Bale Boshev Lawyers have been assisting clients with compensation matters for over 40 years.
Make an appointment with Ray Blissett to discuss your options by calling our Hamilton office on
02 4969 1522 or completing our free case assessment on our website.