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Triangular Employment Relationships

Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2019

This amendment to the Employment relations act came in June last year and was bought into address a gap in legislation in relation to employees in a triangular employment relationship.

Previously, employees could only bring a personal grievance – such as for bullying, harassment or discrimination – against their employer. This limited their ability to take a personal grievance, as the actions that lead to them taking a claim may be those of the ‘controlling third party’ they are assigned to work for, rather than the person actually employing them. 

From  June 2020, employees are able to apply to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to add a ‘controlling third party’ (such as a ‘host’ employer when a security person is regularly providing services to a client) to a personal grievance claim. 

The security industry regularly has their employees in this kind of relationship what you need to be aware of if the relationship breaks down between all parties involved an employee may add your client to a personal grievance . Also, is should be noted you as an employer can also name a third party, though it is normally the employee.

In all employment relationships communication is key.  Regularly checking in with your staff and clients to address any issues when they occur will potentially reduce small problems escalating into larger problems.

Definitions

Triangular employment

A triangular employment arrangement is a situation where the employer (the agency) arranges for the employee’s placement or assignment with a third party (controlling third party). 

It is ‘triangular’ because there are three parties to an employment arrangement, with each party having distinct relationships with one another. 

Controlling third party

These are terms to describe the business or organisation where an employee, involved in a triangular employment situation, performs their day-to-day work for the benefit of the third party until the arrangement ends. 

The third party is a ‘controlling third party’ if they direct or control the employee in a similar or substantially similar way to that of an employer



 

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