The Labour Hire Licencing Act 2017 commences on 16 April 2018 and establishes a mandatory labour hire licencing scheme which:
- requires labour hire providers to be licensed to operate in Queensland (including interstate or overseas labour hire services that operate in Queensland);
- requires persons who engage labour hire providers to only engage licensed providers;
- provides for penalties for breach of obligations; and
- establishes a labour hire licensing compliance unit.
Special Counsel, Anna Hendry discusses the upcoming changes further.
The Act does not cover workers doing voluntary work or students placed in work experience positions.
From 16 April 2018, providers will have 60 days to lodge an application for a license. If the application is made within that period, the obligations and penalties imposed by the Act will not apply until the license is granted. In order to be granted a license, providers must:
- satisfy a fit and proper person test;
- establish that they are capable of providing labour hire services in compliance with all relevant laws;
- establish that they are financially viable; and
- pay an application fee.
Once a license is granted, licensees must provide six monthly reports in relation to compliance with the relevant laws. The report will include:
- the number of workers supplied during the period;
- a description of the employment arrangements entered into;
- where the workers worked;
- the type of work the workers did;
- details of any accommodation provided to workers;
- information about compliance with relevant laws and any disciplinary or enforcement action taken; and
- details of any health and safety incidents or workers’ compensation claims made.
The scheme will be enforced via a compliance unit made up of inspectors who will inspect and audit labour hire providers and the places their labour force work. They will be empowered to enter and search premises and compel the provision of information by labour hire service providers and users of those providers. Penalties will apply for breaches of the Act by either a labour hire service provider or the users of those providers.
If you are a labour hire service provider, you should:
- subscribe to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive updates about the licencing process with a view to having your application ready by 15 June 2018; and
- implement a system whereby the information necessary for periodic reporting is readily accessible.
If you use labour hire services you should:
- ask any labour hire service providers you currently use to provide proof that they have applied for (and ultimately been granted) a license after 16 April 2016; and
- search the public register of labour hire service providers each time you engage with a new labour hire service provider to ensure it is licensed.