With Queensland’s pioneering mandatory labour hire licensing laws starting this week, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has today launched the Labour Hire Licensing Scheme.
At the launch event in Rugby Farm at 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.
“In the past there have been cases of workers being underpaid or unpaid, being sexually harassed, forced to work ridiculously long hours, housed in crowded, sub-standard accommodation, or exposed to serious risks to their safety.
“In the absence of any action at the Federal level, the Palaszczuk Government has drawn a line in the sand and set up a system which will ensure all stakeholders do the right thing.
“These laws will enhance Queensland’s reputation as a great place to work, including for backpackers and migrant workers who follow the seasonal harvest trail around the state.
“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.
“You need a license to sell a house and you need one to sell a car, so it only makes sense that you would need a license to hire out labour,” she said.
“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.
“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 newly formed Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit will be responsible for regulating and ensuring compliance with the scheme.
For more information on the Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme go to www.labourhire.qld.gov.au
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace