WHO IS COVERED BY THE QUEENSLAND LABOUR HIRE LICENSING REGIME?

LABOUR HIRE LICENSING ACT 2017 (QLD) WILL COMMENCE ON MONDAY 16TH OF ARPIL 2018.

The Queensland Government has developed a labour hire licensing scheme to stop the exploitation and mistreatment of workers and support legitimate operators by requiring labour hire providers to be licensed and that uses are using licensed providers. Labour hire providers caught by the regime will have 60 days from the commencement of the legislation to apply for a license.


WHO IS NOW AFFECTED?

The definitions of ‘Labour Hire Services’ and ‘Worker’ in the Act are very broad. The Act defines ‘Labour Hire Services’ as follows:

  • A person (a provider) provides labour hire services if, in the course of carrying on a business, the person supplies a worker to commence work.

The regulations clarifies that the licensing scheme does not capture the follow unintended classes of workers:

  • High income earners not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement or Queensland’s industrial relations system.
    • An individual employed by a provider:
      • ​whose annual base wages (excluding superannuation and other benefits) are equal to or more than the amount of high income threshold under section 333 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (which is currently $142,000); and
      • other than under an industrial instrument under the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (QLD) or a modern award or enterprise agreement under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)
  • ​​Secondment and similar temporary arrangements (depending on the arrangement meeting the criteria specified)
    • An in-house employee of a provider whom the provider supplies to another person to do work on a temporary basis on one or more occasions. An ‘in-house-employee’ of a provider is an individual who:
      • ​is engaged as an employee by the provider on a regular and systematic basis;
      • has a reasonable expectation the employment with the provider will continue; and
      • primarily performs work for the provider other than as a worker supplied to another person to do work for the other person.
  • ​​Internal Labour Hire (depending on the labour hire arrangement meeting the criteria specified)
    • An individual whom a provider supplies to another person to do work if the provider and the other person are each part of an entity or group of entities that carry on business collectively as one recognizable business.

The exclusion for internal labour hire will exempt some, but not all, internal labour hire arrangements and providers will need to carefully scrutinize their arrangements to determine whether they fall within the scope of the exclusion.

  • WHAT INFORMATION MUST ACCOMPANY AN APPLICATION

The regulations prescribe a long list of information that must accompany an application for a labour hire license, including information as to:

  • the business’s financial viability and solvency of entities associated with the business;
  • work health and safety offenses and enforceable undertakings, and workers’ compensation obligations;
  • other licenses, accreditations or authorities to carry on a business;
  • migration matters;
  • convictions for serious criminal offenses, as well as other offenses against certain laws;
  • discrimination and sexual harassment matters;
  • the regions in Queensland where the application provides, or intends to provide, labour hire services; and
  • the industries to which the applicant provides, or intends to provide, labour hire services

WHAT ARE THE FEES FOR APPLYING AND RENEWING LICENSE?

The regulations set out the fees associated with applying for, renewing or restoring a license. The fees vary depending on the ‘tier’ of the business, which is determined by:

  • the total amount of wages the business paid in the financial year preceding the day on which the application is made; or
  • if the business did not operate in the immediately preceding financial year, the total wages the business is projected to pay in the financial year in which the application is made and the next financial year.

The fees are as follows:

  • Less than $1.5 million: $1,000.00
  • $1.5 million – $5 Million: $3,000.00
  • More than $5 million: $5,000.00
  • WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU NOW?

The Act provides for very high penalties (up to $378,000 for corporations) for breaches. Any business providing or utilizing labour hire arrangements must:

  • establish whether the entity providing the labour hire needs to be licensed; and
  • if entity does need to be licensed, collate the required information and submit the necessary application before Friday the 15th of June 2018

For further information please visit the Labour Hire Queensland website (labourhire.qld.gov.au) and info line (1300 576 088)

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