Labour Hire Licensing passes in QLD


RCSA Members will be aware that, on 7 September, the Queensland Parliament passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017. This legislation was enacted despite the Queensland Government being very aware of the significant deficiencies such as:

  • universal coverage of all forms of on-hire, including white-collar and professional occupations, despite no evidence of exploitation amongst those occupations;

  • significant loopholes which will allow workforce contracting firms to avoid being licensed, despite ongoing evidence of exploitation in the horticulture sector; and

  • the legislation being made to favour a unions ability to oppose a license being issued where they hold concerns about the suitability of a director or manager to run a ‘labour hire’ firm.

RCSA is continuing to lobby the Queensland Government in relation to the drafting of the Regulations, given they will contain much of the detail.

RCSA CEO, Charles Cameron, was in Brisbane on 18 August meeting with the Department of Industrial Relations.

The saving grace in all of this is that the Queensland Government recognises the virtues of RCSA’s Workforce Services Provider Certification Program (‘StaffSure’) and have committed to recognising it in the Regulations, such that RCSA Members who aquire certification to StaffSure will have greater capacity to streamline the licensing process.

For RCSA Members

RCSA will be holding a further webinar to update members on this new law when we have more detail on the Regulations and the time-frames for introduction. In the meantime, we provide you with the official Queensland Government statement issued on 14 September. RCSA is also developing a suite of Member services across training, consulting and templates to assist fulfilment of the license when it commences.

RCSA, along with other industry bodies, is very concerned about the inflexible approach to the introduction of ‘labour hire’ licensing at the demands of a union movement with falling membership.

"There is very little justification for this legislation outside of sectors such as food production and horticulture, other than to return favours to a union movement that has ripped off it’s own membership," says Cameron.

Statement from the Queensland Department of Industrial Relations

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 was passed by the Queensland Parliament on Thursday 7 September 2017.

The Act will commence on a date to be proclaimed which is anticipated to happen during the first half of 2018.

The Act will establish a mandatory business licensing scheme for labour hire providers in Queensland. Under the licensing scheme all labour hire providers must be licensed to operate in Queensland and businesses who use labour hire must only engage a licensed labour hire provider. Strong penalties are in place for businesses that breach either of the requirements of the scheme. The scope of the scheme will extend to all businesses operating within Queensland regardless of where their registered address might be.

The next phase in the implementation of Queensland’s labour hire licensing scheme is to finalise the subordinate regulation for the Act, including those regulations that will further define the scope of the scheme.

Further information on the Bill, including answers to frequently asked questions is available at https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au/fair-and-safe-work/industrial-relations/regulation-labour-hire-industry/.

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