Over the years, we’ve seen many changes in Government legislation when it comes to employment. Labour hire licensing has been on our radar for a number of years, so when the Queensland government made the decision to roll this out last year, although we weren’t a fan of an additional layer of regulation, we weren’t surprised.

What it means for us

The Queensland Government introduced the Labour Hire Licensing Act (2017) with the objective of protecting vulnerable workers and supporting responsible labour hire providers. The legislation commenced on 16 April 2018 and existing providers operating in Queensland have until 15 June 2018 to apply for their licence. It took approximately 3 weeks for us to receive our Certificate for our Licence to Provide Labour Hire Services (emailed as an editable Word document, but that’s another story) so we would expect all existing labour hire agencies that have been approved will be finalised by mid-July.

As a labour hire provider, we will be required to report to the Office of Industrial Relations every 6 months, on details such as the number of workers, how they are engaged, whether any employees have a visa, which local government area the employees are working in and compliance with relevant laws, amongst other requirements. Although it’s a big job, everyone will be operating on the same playing field and as the reporting forms and guides are released, the easier this process will become.

What this means for you

Businesses who use or are considering using a labour hire company are also required by the legislation to only use a licensed operator. Business owners and managers can check the register to ensure their operator is either licensed or has a licence pending. We recommend saving a copy of the licence search results for your chosen labour hire provider, in case there’s ever an issue down the track.

What’s happening in other states

While this legislation has just commenced in Queensland, the South Australian government, which commenced its Labour Hire Licensing Scheme on 1 March 2018 has announced it won’t be enforcing their legislation before 1 February 2019. It was due to be enforced from 1 September 2018. The South Australian government received numerous submissions from stakeholders, raising various issues regarding the legislation and the implementation of the scheme; the delay intends to resolve these issues before continuing with the requirement to be licenced. The SA legislation is different, however similar to that in Queensland.

Victoria has a Labour Hire Bill before the parliament currently, which is being strongly debated by both sides of the argument, whilst the remaining states have not put changes in motion regarding labour hire licensing at this time. Perhaps these states will now wait for the results from the Queensland approach before implementing any changes themselves.

For us, we’re doing business as usual, whilst continually improving our backend systems and data collection, to make reporting as straightforward as possible. We will continue to work with our clients and employees to deliver a positive, compliant workforce management solution and look forward to serving you.