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Queensland labour hire initiative sets the pace for Australia

Queensland’s Australian-first labour hire licensing scheme now has licensed more than 3350 labour hire providers as it celebrates its third year of operation.

The scheme, which gives legitimate operators a level playing field by weeding out rogue operators and looking after worker interests, is an Australian first. It grew out of revelations of serious exploitation of workers and inappropriate business practices by some labour hire providers.

In February, a total of $370,000 in fines were issued when a South-East Queensland poultry processing company was prosecuted for using unlicensed labour hire providers, with the providers fined for operating without a labour hire licence.

There have been 15 successful prosecutions in the horticulture and poultry processing industries, with eight providers prosecuted for providing labour without a licence, two users prosecuted for engaging unlicensed labour hire providers and five directors prosecuted as parties to the offences.

In Queensland, all labour hire providers must be licensed to provide labour hire services and users of labour hire must only engage licensed providers. Licensees must demonstrate their ability to comply with state and Commonwealth laws, that they are financially viable, and fit and proper to provide labour hire services.

Since the scheme’s inception, 240 licence applications have been refused or withdrawn for failing to provide compliance information and 57 licences have been granted with conditions to enable close monitoring of licensees’ compliance. Eighty-one licences have been cancelled and 253 suspended.

These enforcement actions have been in response to blatant dishonesty, unlicensed providing, failing to provide information and reports, and significant non-compliance with employment, taxation and superannuation, and workers’ compensation laws.

Further information

More information on labour hire is at Labour Hire Licensing Queensland website.