This article focuses upon temporary' agency workers' capacity to balance work/life needs. Two extremes are identified within the Victorian temporary agency labour market. On the one hand, there are skilled temporary agency workers employed in areas of high demand accompanied by labour shortages. Nurses are one such group. At the other extreme, there are skilled and semi-skilled temporary agency workers who face a shortfall in demand for permanent, direct hire employees. Drawing upon a survey and focus groups of temporary agency workers, their potential for achieving a satisfactory work/life balance is assessed in relation to control over working time, income and employment security, and a narrow band of employment conditions. The findings differ substantially between the two groups of agency workers, contributing to significantly different perceptions of the personal benefits of working through a temporary employment agency.
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