The focus on protecting vulnerable workers rages on. Fresh off the heels of new laws targeting franchisors and worker exploitation (see here), which came into effect last week, States are throwing their hat in the ring by taking on labour hire companies through new licensing requirements.
Although there's been a growing concern over rampant underpayments and exploitation in the labour hire sector, particularly when it comes to the horticulture and meat industries and their use of foreign workers, the Federal government has been hesitant to do anything in response. Likely because it doesn't want to bite the hand that literally feeds it. That hasn't stopped the States though.
One-by-one, States are considering new labour hire licensing schemes. The aim is to stamp out dodgy labour hire practices by handing out licences only to "fit and proper" labour hire businesses.
Queensland has led the charge recently passing labour hire licensing legislation this month. South Australia and Victoria are close behind, both considering similar licensing requirements.
Under the new Queensland laws, which will likely commence early next year, a labour hire business can be fined up to $378,450 if it operates without a licence. Doing business with an unlicensed labour hire business attracts the same max penalty.
And you didn't think smashed avocado could get any more expensive.