In the July 2017 Update, we discussed the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 (Qld) ("Queensland Bill"). If enacted, the Queensland Bill will establish a licensing scheme to regulate the provision of labour hire services in Queensland. South Australia recently introduced a similar bill—the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 (SA) ("South Australian Bill")—to provide for the licensing and regulation of persons who provide labour hire services. 

The Queensland Bill and the South Australian Bill are very similar in their intent and drafting. For instance, both bills would require providers of labour hire services to be licensed to provide such services. To be granted a licence under both bills, the applicant would need to be a "fit and proper person" to be the holder of a licence (including, in the case of an applicant that is a body corporate, each director being a "fit and proper person") and have demonstrated sufficient financial resources to properly carry on a business under a licence.

Unlike the Queensland Bill, the South Australian Bill purports to hold principals/employers of agents/employees and directors of a body corporate convicted of an offence under the South Australian Bill to be vicariously liable if an offence is committed by an agent/employee or body corporate. In addition, the South Australian Bill would not require labour hire services to pay an annual licence renewal fee. Rather, such services will hold their licence until the licence is suspended or cancelled, the licence holder dies or, in the case of a body corporate, is dissolved. 

Both bills as currently drafted have the potential to significantly impact the labour hire services industry in both Queensland and South Australia. Similar legislation is anticipated in other Australian States.