The Queensland Parliament recently passed new a new labour hire licensing act, the first of its kind in Australia and many local businesses may be impacted.

The Act requires labour hire providers to be licenced and that management are 'fit and proper' persons.

There are also significant penalties in place for operating as a labour hire provider without a licence or even engaging a labour hire provider which does not have a licence.

We predict that many Mackay region businesses will be caught by the new law and may not even know it!

So how do you know if the law applies to you?

The definition of "labour hire services" is very wide:A person (a provider) provides labour hire services if, in the course of carrying on a business, the person supplies, to another person, a worker to do work.

To help clarify this further, the Act provides these examples:

  • a contractor who supplies workers to a farmer or fruit grower to pick produce for the farmer or grower
  • a group training organisation or principal employer organisation under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 that supplies an apprentice or trainee to an employer
  • an employment agency who on-hires temporary administration staff to a business.

A risk is that a business may be defined as a "labour hire provider" even if labour hire is only an incidental part of its business.

For example, many engineering services businesses in Mackay "hire" a smaller part of their workforce to mine sites. That may be occasional, at particular times such as shut downs, or as permanent hire.

If this sounds like your business, you should carefully consider applying for a licence to allow you to legally operate in that field.

The new Licencing Scheme commences in 2018 and the penalties for not complying have been set at up to $378, 450 for companies and $130,439.10 for individuals or three years imprisonment.

So now is the time to get your labour hire ‘ducks in a row’.

Scott McSwan

[email protected]

07 4963 0860

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