Engaging a new contractor has its risks and administrative challenges. Having a timely and effective onboarding process helps you find the right candidates and is one of the biggest cost-saving elements to a successful project.
Making sure that your contractor or labour hire worker is properly compliant has many benefits to your business and the project you are engaging these workers for.
The benefits of hiring compliant contractors
Hiring contractors who comply with the relevant workplace laws in your state provides the following advantages:
- Lowers the risk that lax or illegal actions of a contractor or subcontractor will damage your brand and reputation
- Reduces the likelihood of litigation and costly court proceedings for shoddy workmanship
- Improves service delivery and quality assurance as well as building strong relationships both internally and externally
- Gives people in the supply chain confidence in the employment terms and conditions, thus improving morale and resulting in a satisfactory outcome.
The FairWork Ombudsman has resources to help you build these actions into your compliance framework.
Asking the right questions at the time of engagement will mitigate the risk of non-compliant contractors further down the track.
What to look for when engaging contractors
To ensure the process of hiring compliant contractors is simple and easy, consider these three questions:
1. Do they have the correct licences and insurances?
Contractors who are compliant with the laws in which your industry is involved and adhere to the Workplace Health and Safety laws in your state are the ones you want on board.
You can check whether a contractor is reputable and professional, verifying that their company details are registered correctly and that they have an Australian Business Number (ABN). To do this, head straight to ABN Lookup and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) to find out addresses, the type of business they are and whether they are banned or disqualified.
Knowing that they have the right insurance and that licences are not expired is essential to getting the right person or business for the job.
Make sure you sight these licences and insurance papers or use an online verification system before you sign them up.
Using a pre-qualification form for determining legal compliance at the outset will save you headaches later on. Plus, if you are in the process of procurement or requesting tenders, then you can also investigate the option of reviewing a list of compliant companies online before you even engage with them.
2. Are your induction procedures structured and easy to understand?
Do you have easy and well-structured induction materials available online or in hard copy? Will they be able to be delivered in a toolbox setting by an instructor, or can they be self-managed online before getting onsite?
Using an online training platform allows for flexible online training that can be available 24/7 from any web-enabled device or computer. Contractors can even complete these inductions on their way to the site.
Being able to educate and engage contractors through an onboarding process that identifies the risks and job hazards relevant to their area, reduces the need to know about all other departments as well. It can be specific to their area of expertise only.
Supplementing your own induction courses with our free courses on Fire Safety Awareness, Bullying and Harassment, Privacy of Information, Essentials Manual Handling and Code of Conduct will clearly set out your expectations to your contractors.
The use of interactive graphics or videos makes sure everyone is on the same page, it’s hard to misinterpret vision but easy to get text and phrasing wrong. Words can mean different things to different people.
3. Can your management team readily see a contractor lifecycle?
Your management team have a lot to think about and worrying about whether contractors are authorised for site access is one thing you can alleviate in their already busy day.
By using an online training platform they can make sure that contractors have completed necessary training, for example their health and safety induction, before they start. Being able to include a video or questionnaire makes the induction process faster, moving the project to completion.
Increasing security and system permissions within our platform can help your management team track who’s completed their induction and has the relevant licences all in one place.
Being able to issue pre-qualification forms, determine legal compliance, store all company documents online, and track expiry dates, makes choosing the right contractors a simple process.