New Labour Hire licensing laws to commence in April 2018January 30, 2018
Late last year the Queensland Government passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017. The enactment of this Bill changes how businesses in Queensland interact with companies who provide labour hire. The Act comes into effect on 16 April 2018 and labour hire companies either based or operating in Queensland have 60 days from that date to lodge an application to become registered.
There will be hefty penalties for business that do not comply with the new legislation, 1034 penalty units ($126,044.60) or three years’ imprisonment for an individual, or 3000 penalty units ($365,700) for a corporation. Breaches are not limited to the organisations that provide labour hire services, they can apply to those who use the labour hire services. Breaches include running an unlicensed labour hire company and entering into arrangements with unlicensed providers.
If you are currently using a labour hire company for temporary or short term contract staff there are a couple of simple steps to take to ensure that you are complying with the new legislation coming into effect on 16 April 2018:
- Create some new protocols for your labour hire that includes checking their registration;
- Talk to your current labour hire provider. Are they getting ready so that you can still use their services on and after 16 April 2018? If they are not, then you will have to consider how you will manage accessing temporary employees until they have their registration;
- If you are currently using more than one labour hire company then you have this conversation with each of your providers
There will be a Queensland Government website that lists the registered providers that you can use to check the registration of the company that you wish to use.
After the Act comes into effect, as the client of a labour hire company you have an obligation to report if the labour hire provider is not complying and / or seeking to avoid the obligations of this Act. The Act also states that as a client you have an obligation to report if you are “reasonably aware” that your labour hire provider is seeking to avoid the obligations of this Act. The penalty applicable under this section is 200 penalty units ($24 380). We advise that you keep a record of the actions that you have taken so if questioned you can demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the arrangement that you are entering into is, to the best of your knowledge, compliant with the Act. Because your provider is required to report half yearly, you could include in your records checking the website twice yearly to check that your labour hire provider has maintained their registration.
The reporting and enforcement of the Act is still a process under development by the Government so there are some grey areas as to how the Act will work come 16 April 2018. As we get more information Livingstones will provide further updates. If you have any questions, please contact a Livingstones Consultant on (07) 3833 1200 or email us at email@example.com.
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