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Today’s changes to SA’s Labour Hire Licensing a win for workers & business, industry body says

The peak body for the recruitment, staffing and labour hire sectors, RCSA, welcomes the South Australian Government’s announcement that they will amend the state’s Labour Hire Licensing Act to target the sectors where there is evidence of worker exploitation.

RCSA CEO Charles Cameron said the move to target the licensing scheme would improve its ability to address isolated exploitation issues, while allowing agencies who service industries where there is no evidence of exploitation to get on with the job of placing South Australians in work and supporting local business growth.

Mr Cameron (pictured left) said the proposed changes were great news for agency workers and the businesses they support.

“RCSA has long been one of the strongest advocates for improving mechanisms to target and stamp out the cases of exploitation perpetrated by rogue elements of the labour hire sector in Australia,” Mr Cameron said.

“As the peak body that represents professional labour hire operators, we are sick of the many achievements of our industry - creating meaningful and rewarding work opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Australians - being tarred by the brush of this dodgy minority.

“We have said from the very beginning that the original South Australian legislation failed to address any of our concerns around rogue operators in the sectors known to exploit workers.

“All the Act achieved was to put a handicap on legitimate and reputable businesses whose only crime was helping South Australians find good, quality work.

“A broad approach to regulation spreads resources and focus wide and thin, essentially creating a box ticking exercise for organisations already doing the right thing and doing very little to genuinely address exploitation,” Mr Cameron said.

“Independent reviews have clearly identified industries where worker exploitation exists. We agree with the South Australian Government that targeting resources at enforcement and regulation in those sectors will have the greatest impact on exploitation.”

Based on today’s announcement, the key sectors the South Australian Government proposes to target include:

  • Horticulture

  • Meat processing

  • Seafood processing

  • Cleaning

  • Trolley collection

“It’s all about balance,” Mr Cameron said. “We need to ensure the labour market has the adaptability and flexibility to meet the demands of South Australian business in a competitive economy, while working to ensure that doesn’t come at the expense of our most vulnerable workers.

“I commend the SA government for its efforts to ensure that the regulatory approach to licensing in this instance is appropriate for the risk it is trying to address.”

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