Engaging short-term/ contingent workers - FAQs for managers and supervisors

Useful information for Managers and Supervisors

Who are contingent workers?

Contingent workers are temporary/casual staff obtained through a temporary staff or employment agency

What is the Prequalification Scheme: Contingent Workforce?

This Scheme has been adopted by the University of Western Sydney for the provision of contingent labour. It was developed for NSW Government agencies and is intended to be used when the temporary engagement of contingent labour is required.

The benefits of the Scheme are:

  • simplified terms and conditions and reduced insurance requirements;
  • a new standard approach to rates, reporting requirements and contract management across government; and
  • the removal of the management fee previously levied on suppliers.

How are small and regional suppliers able to be part of the Scheme?

One of the objectives of the Scheme is to encourage regional and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to apply. The Scheme does this by allowing applicants to nominate the regions where they wish to provide their services including: the whole of NSW, a single region, or any combination of regions.

The Scheme also has simplified terms and conditions and reduced insurance requirements.

What are the benefits of this Scheme for my School/Institute/Divisional Unit?

Business units will have access to a greater choice of suppliers including regional, niche, small and medium sized enterprises. Under the Scheme rules, suppliers agree to participate in a performance management process which is administered by the NSW Government. This will provide information on specific key performance indicators including satisfaction reviews, invoicing accuracy, response times, and reporting requirements.

Minimum and maximum levels have been set for supplier fees.

Has pricing changed under the Scheme?

Yes. The supplier fee is 7.05% of Pay Rate for the first 12 month period and 5.14% of Pay Rate thereafter.

The minimum supplier fee is $3.00 per hour and maximum supplier fee is $15.00 per hour in the first twelve month period.

The supplier fee for a customer order over twelve months is a flat 5.14% of contractor pay rate.

How can a contractor make the transition from temporary to permanent employment under this Scheme? Are there any fees applicable?

Where employment is the result of a merit selection process, even if this occurs within the first 12 months of the contingent worker's original start date in that role, the supplier will not be entitled to payment of temporary–to permanent placement fees. If a contingent worker commences employment with the customer within 12 months of the original start date in that role, the supplier will be entitled to charge the following:

0-90 days7.05% of salary package
91-180 days5.25% of salary package
181-270 days3.05% of salary package
271-365 days1.75% of salary package
More than 365 daysNil fee

Is there a minimum or maximum period of hire?

It is generally accepted that the minimum period of hire is four hours; however this needs to be agreed with the supplier prior to engaging a contractor. It is suggested that contractors are not engaged for periods longer than six months.

What if I want to extend/renew an order? What supplier margin should apply?

For assignments that are longer than twelve months (either via extension or original assignment, regardless of which prior contract/arrangement the Contingent Worker was placed under) - a maximum of 5.14% of Contingent Worker normal pay rate ( normal time base rate plus superannuation) applies.

Payroll fees will be fixed at 5.14% of Contingent Worker normal time pay rate.

Contractors introduced to suppliers by agencies will attract the reduced fee of 5.14% of pay rate.

What are the key features of this Scheme?

Supplier fees have been benchmarked and agreed to by the way of fixed percentage of pay rate. Agencies will have continual access to new expert resources as suppliers are able to register at any time through an easy online process. Business Units can select suppliers by region and by category to better access available talent.

Details of the scheme are available from the NSW Government Procurepoint website.

Does my School/Institute/Divisional Unit have to use the Contingent Workforce Scheme?

The new Scheme is the agreed process for engaging contingent staff. Therefore, Business Units are obliged to use such arrangements.

What if I have a current order with a supplier and that supplier is not on the Scheme?

Pre-existing contingent worker contracts will continue under the terms and conditions of their existing contract until their finish date. Business Units are expected to transition to this scheme within a six month period, although this may take longer if an existing contract is in place for a longer period.

What if the supplier I want to use is not on the Scheme?

Business Units are to advise their preferred supplier that UWS is moving to full use of this scheme and advise their preferred suppliers to submit their applications for the Contingent Workforce Scheme. Information for suppliers on how to register for this scheme is available that the NSW Government Procurepoint website.(opens in a new window)

Can I use any supplier from the scheme?

Suppliers registered under the scheme have nominated categories of staff and specific areas that they will supply to. Before engaging a supplier, you should check that they are registered to provide the job category you require under the scheme. This information is maintained on the NSW Government Procurepoint website.(opens in a new window) You can engage any supplier from the scheme that meets these requirements.

How do I engage staff under the Scheme?

Business Units can invite and assess supplier proposals by contacting suppliers which are registered with the scheme directly. Suppliers need to be advised that they are being engaged under the terms of the Prequalification Scheme: Contingent Workforce agreement so to ensure that you receive the set fees and charges. Quotes or proposals from multiple agencies are not required if the value of the engagement is under $250K. For engagements over that value, please contact the Associate Director Procurement to discuss the most appropriate process. As the supplier's rates under the scheme are set, the only negotiation point becomes the remuneration of the successful contingent staff member who is engaged.

A Rate Calculator is available on the OPC Forms and Templates website. The calculator is used to determine the cost of the engagement under the scheme parameters. This would provide the value of the Purchase Requisition for an engagement and should be kept by the business unit as a record of the transaction and attached to the Purchase Requisition as a record. This value is based on the remuneration of the selected staff member which drives the revenue obtained by the supplying agency.

A Purchase Requisition must be completed prior to engaging a contingent worker, in accordance with University policy. The Purchase Requisition must indicate that the engagement is under the NSW Government Contingent Workforce Scheme in the "Item Description" field.

Where do I locate an updated supplier listing?

A number of suppliers have been awarded the Scheme. Throughout the life of the Scheme, new assessments will continue to be completed. As suppliers are able to register at any time, the details of approved suppliers are continually being updated. Information about the approved suppliers is available on the NSW Government Procurepoint website.

Does the Scheme have provisions for suspension or removal?

Supplier performance is managed via Key Performance Indicators which are listed in the Scheme rules for suppliers. Significant focus will be on the delivery of the reporting requirements and client satisfaction. Business Units are encouraged to resolve issues directly with suppliers. However where these can't be resolved, they can escalate the issue to NSW Procurement for action by the use of the Supplier Performance Report.

Business Units must submit a Supplier Performance Report (DOCX, 0.7Mb) for each engagement where the performance of and/or services provided by the supplier are considered to be unsatisfactory. NSW Procurement will be conducting an annual 'hiring manager satisfaction' survey to measure satisfaction levels.

What happens if there is a dispute?

In the first instance, the customer and supplier must attempt to resolve any disputes. In the case that a resolution cannot be reached, the Scheme Administrator, the Department of Finance and Services, can facilitate an outcome. This is to be initiated by the submission of a Supplier Performance Report, available from the scheme website. This may include arranging a meeting between the two parties; determining the dispute in consultation; or on forwarding the dispute to a committee-based review process (the committee will be composed of independent NSW Public Service officer(s)).

Where the supplier and customer still cannot reach a resolution, either party may request the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre to nominate an independent expert.