Queensland’s pioneering mandatory labour hire licensing laws started this month, launched by Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace at Rugby Farm in Gatton.

Ms Grace said labour hire workers in Queensland would now have increased protection in a regulated industry where employers will be held to account for doing the wrong thing.

“Our Government is leading the way in the fight to ensure some of our most vulnerable workers are not subject to exploitation and mistreatment,” Ms Grace said.

“Labour hire has been an unregulated industry for far too long and, unfortunately, this has meant some rogue operators with scant regard for their obligations have been able to take advantage of employees.

“Labour hire providers are now required to be licensed in Queensland and businesses who need to hire labour must only use licensed providers.”
Ms Grace said the scheme sets minimum standards for labour hire providers and was established following extensive consultation with stakeholders.

“To obtain a licence, a labour hire provider must demonstrate that they are fit and proper to provide these services, can comply with relevant state and Commonwealth laws and that their business is financially viable.” she said.

“Existing labour hire providers have until 15 June 2018 to apply for a licence and can continue to operate while their application is being processed.

“All labour hire providers operating in Queensland need to be licensed under the scheme – including those based interstate or overseas who supply workers in Queensland.

“Be warned – if you provide labour hire services in Queensland without a licence or try to avoid your responsibilities, you may face jail time, a hefty fine or your license may be cancelled.”

A Queensland labour-hire company and its director last year were penalised $227,300 for deliberately exploiting vulnerable foreign workers after luring them to Australia with a string of false promises. Twenty-two seasonal workers from Vanuatu were underpaid $77,649 over just seven weeks when they were employed to pick fruit and vegetables at sites in the Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg areas.

Labour hire providers can apply for a licence and submit reports online at www.labourhire.qld.gov.au. Users of labour hire and workers can also search a register of licensed labour hire providers here.

originally published: https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/forms-and-resources/newsletter/esafe-newsletters/esafe-editions/esafe/april-2008/australian-first-mandatory-labour-hire-laws-now-in-effect