Co-Employment: Working with us to manage your temporary workers.


Co-employment occurs when a company’s relationship with a temporary worker takes on the characteristics that are typically associated with the traditional employee/employer relationship: salary and benefit review, performance counseling and consequent discipline, and termination. There has been a lot of discussion about the risks and costs of co-employment, but the bottom line is that the risks of employing people directly are much greater than the risks of using temporary workers. Because your staffing agency is sharing most of that potential liability and taking proactive steps to avoid workplace issues, your liability will always be less than it would be in a direct employment relationship.

Some DOs and DON’Ts regarding co-employment, according to

  • DO make sure that you train the employee to perform the job tasks assigned.
  • DON’T inform the employee that he/she is terminated.
  • DO take immediate corrective action if an employee is violating safety rules.
  • DON’T discuss pay rates, increases, incentives, or bonuses.
  • DO report any absences, tardiness, or unacceptable behavior to the agency.
  • DO refer all questions relative to pay, benefits, duration of position, or opportunity for full-time employment to the agency.
  • DON’T extend an offer for employment without approval from the staffing agency.
  • DO inform the agency about any changes in an employee’s work schedule.
  • DON’T request that an employee complete timecards or forms with your company’s name on them.
  • DO assist the agency in evaluating employees.
  • DON’T counsel employees concerning: tardiness, attendance, dress code, childcare arrangements, or other personal matters.

Co-employment is inherent in the relationship between a customer and its staffing agency, and that’s a good thing! The flexibility, support, cost savings, and other advantages of a flexible workforce outweigh any co-employment risks, especially since those risks are minimized with proper workforce management.