The Labour Hire Licensing Bill has been passed by Queensland Parliament, introducing a mandatory licensing regime for the labour hire industry. The new regime is expected to commence in 2018 (though a formal commencement date is yet to be proclaimed). The new regime will significantly affect transport operators that use internal labour hire arrangements.
When will the regime commence?
The regime will commence on a date set by proclamation. While this date has not yet been fixed, the legislation is expected to commence in the first half of 2018. Labour hire providers will have 60 days from the commencement of the legislation to apply for a licence.
What arrangements will the regime apply to?
Despite concerns about the scope of the regime, the Bill was passed without any change to its scope. The new regime will apply broadly to ‘providers’ of ‘labour hire services’ and to entities entering into arrangements with those providers.
The Bill makes provision for regulations to be made to provide further clarification on the scope of the regime to ensure that it does not capture unintended classes of providers or workers. However, in the absence of such regulations, it appears that internal labour hire and many other arrangements not typically considered ‘labour hire’ will require licensing.
What should transport operators do?
Transport operators utilising internal labour hire arrangements will need to ensure the entity providing the labour hire:
- is licensed;
- complies with its reporting obligations and other obligations under the new regime; and
- complies with all ‘relevant laws’ that impose obligations in relation to workers.
The new provisions are lengthy and complex. A more comprehensive bulletin discussing the provisions is available here.