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Labour Hire Licences - Get the Full Story

By Sally McCutcheon

7th June 2018

Are you a labour hire provider? Do you use labour hire workers? Do you work for a labour hire provider? The deadline to apply for a labour hire licence is fast approaching with applications needing to be made by 15 June 2018.

The introduction of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 sparked a lot of uncertainty with its wide definition of who would be captured by the new scheme and be required to obtain a licence.  The Act broadly defines the term ‘labour hire provider’ as meaning a person who supplies a worker to someone else to do work. The Act defines a ‘worker’ as an individual who enters into an arrangement with a provider under which the provider may supply, to another person, the individual to do work, and the provider is obliged to pay the worker, in whole or in part, for the work. In April 2018 the Queensland government released the Labour Hire Licensing Regulation 2018 which has restricted the scope of the Act.  It has done this by creating a number of exceptions to the term ‘worker’ which are:

  1. A high income employee earning more than $142,000 per year and not covered by an industrial award or agreement.
  2. An in-house employee who temporarily works for another entity.
  3. Individuals who are employed by a service entity within a business group and who only work for and within that single recognisable business.
  4. A worker who is also the director of a business who is the only worker ‘supplied’ by their own business.

Much of the focus has been on the need for labour hire providers to apply for a licence and while this is critical in order to be compliant with the new mandatory licensing scheme, it is not the end of the story. Significant penalties apply for businesses that engage the services of a labour hire company that does not have a licence when it should.  The new website includes a searchable register of licensed labour hire providers in Queensland.  If you use labour hire in your business you need to ensure that the provider is licenced.  Users of labour hire services can have their own business inspected and audited as part of an investigation into a complaint or as part of an industry audit campaign.

Similarly, if you perform labour hire work you can access the register to find the providers that are properly licensed and in becoming so have provided evidence that they are complying with its employment and work health and safety obligations.

If you need any advice about the licensing scheme please do not hesitate to contact our workplace relations team on 4760 0100.

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Sunshine Coast

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Townsville QLD 4810

(07) 4760 0100