No, we’re not referring to your driver’s licence. All Queensland labour hire providers will soon require a licence in order to conduct their business or face serious penalties including criminal prosecution.
On 16 April 2018 the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 will come into effect bringing with it a host of new obligations on those in the labour hire industry. From that date labour hire providers have 60 days to apply online for a license to operate.
To qualify for a licence, providers will need to:
- Pass a fit and proper person test;
- Comply with workplace laws including in relation to workers compensation, wages and superannuation;
- Pay a fee; and
- Submit a compliance report every 6 months.
The 6 monthly report will need to include the following:
- The number of workers supplied during the period;
- A description of the employment arrangements entered into between the provider and the workers;
- Information about where the workers worked;
- Information about the type of work they did;
- Details of any accommodation provided;
- Information about compliance with relevant laws including details of any disciplinary or enforcement action taken; and
- Details of WHS incidents in which labour hire workers were involved or claims for workers compensation they have made.
The licensing scheme is mandatory and will be enforced by inspectors who will have the power to inspect and audit providers.
It is also a requirement that anyone using labour hire workers only engages with licensed providers. The website will include a searchable register of licensed providers and penalties will be imposed on those employers who use unlicensed providers.
The legislation was developed in response to discoveries of serious mistreatment and exploitation of labour hire workers. The scheme aims to protect labour hire workers, promote the integrity of the industry and safeguard those operators who are already working ethically and responsibly. The practical effect on labour hire providers will be at a minimum a significant increase in their administrative obligations and for some a substantial review of their employment practices.
If you have any questions about the labour hire licensing scheme or employment law matters generally please contact our workplace relations team on 4760 0100.