Dispatched Labor

Dispatched labor refers to an atypical employment relationship. Labor dispatch allows companies to scale up or down their production force as the demands of their business change. Dispatch work agencies receive requests from businesses to have them hire and manage labor on the business’ behalf. This type of labor is known as “dispatched labor”.  A dispatched worker means a person who is employed by a sending employer and subject to worker dispatch according to the Act on the Protection, etc., of Dispatched Workers. Besides, labor dispatch is also attractive for employers because they face fewer risks in the event of a labor dispute. There is in fact no direct contract between dispatched laborers and the enterprise which uses the agency’s services, so in this way, dispatched employment follows a triangle structure. Dispatched laborers are technically employed by their agencies rather than the companies they do work for, so any workplace grievances must be dealt with by the dispatch agency. This option allows them to avoid concerns regarding severance pay and the early termination of employees. Consequently, these dispatched laborers work for and are supervised by the end-user/ client/user enterprise.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the term “labor dispatch” refers to the practice of hiring employees through an employment service agency as opposed to the traditional legal labor relationship referred to as direct employment. As dispatch agencies are often highly adept in hiring and managing workforces, businesses are more than happy to use an agency to manage part of their workforce as it saves time, money, and if you are a foreign enterprise, the hassle of quickly understanding the legal workings of a local labor force. In the US, dispatch workers would work in a police station, emergency call center, taxi company, etc where they would receive calls and dispatch people to respond to the calls. This is advantageous for companies using labor dispatch, as the risk of a labor dispute is transferred to the agency that provides them with workers. However, it also leaves dispatched workers more vulnerable to exploitation.

Applicable scope –

  • Temporary position: A position with a duration of no more than six months.
  • Auxiliary position: A position that provides auxiliary services to the main or core business of the employer.
  • Replaceable position: A position that can be performed by a dispatched employee in place of a permanent employee during the period when such an employee is away from work for study, vacation, or other reasons.