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New Labour Hire Laws add more Red Tape to Queensland Business 

During 2017, the Queensland Government passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017.   While the Act was introduced with the aim to protect labour hire workers from exploitation and promote integrity in the labour hire industry, consultation was limited and many view the legislation as being ill conceived, draconian and introducing another layer of red tape for businesses hiring workers in Queensland.  The Act applies from 16 April 2018, yet the Regulations were only passed on 6 April 2018, just 10 days before the Act applies.

According to the Queensland Government, key features of the Act include:

  • Labour hire providers to be licensed to operate in Queensland
  • Licensees to satisfy fit and proper person tests
  • Labour hire business is financially viable
  • Regular reporting (6 monthly)
  • Strong penalties for breach of obligations
  • Persons who engage labour hire providers to only engage licensed operators, else risk a penalty

Given the way the Act is structured, all Queensland businesses hiring workers (both hirer and hiree) now need to now consider whether the Act applies to them.

All businesses that employ individuals that are being provided to another entity need to consider whether they need to be licensed.  Providing labour hire services without a license could see penalties in excess of $378,000 or up to 3 years imprisonment.

All businesses that are hiring labour from a provider will now need to check whether the provider is licensed.  Failure to take reasonable care to check that a hirer is licensed could result in a penalty in excess of $378,000 or up to 3 years imprisonment.

Under the legislation, hiring out any workers requires licensing, with no low value threshold.  Fortunately, the Regulations do provide certain exemptions including:

  • Directors of consulting companies where they are the only individual supplying the work
  • In house employees provided on a temporary basis (eg a lawyer seconded to a client for a temporary period)
  • Individuals who are provided to another related company within a group

From 16 April 2018, labour hire providers have just 2 months to submit an application for a license (by 15 June 2018), but can continue to trade while their application is being processed.  This license must then be renewed every year.

Application fees will depend on the size of the business.

Once licensed, we expect that the Queensland Government will maintain a website with a register of registered licensees so that a business can easily check that the provider is licensed.

Hanrick Curran can assist your business to:

  • Review your business to determine if a license is required
  • Assist with application for license
  • Assist with regular 6 monthly reporting obligations

Should you require further information about how these laws will apply to your business, or for assistance with applications, please contact Jamie Towers, or your usual Hanrick Curran advisor.

The information provider is general information only based upon our understanding of the law and regulations at the time of publishing.  We recommend readers seek formal advice pertaining to their own circumstances.

© Hanrick Curran  April 2018

 

Our Expert:

Jamie Towers