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7 Sep 17
Update on labour hire industry changes in Queensland

WHO SHOULD READ THIS

  • Labour hire providers operating in Queensland and businesses that engage labour hire providers.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • The licensing system under the Act includes licence fees and requirements that management of labour hire providers are ‘fit and proper’ persons.  There are also significant penalties for operating as a labour hire provider without a licence or engaging a labour hire provider which does not have a licence.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

  • Determine whether your business is a labour hire provider and whether you need to be licenced, and whether you need to revisit any arrangements with existing service providers.

The Queensland Parliament passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld) (Act) this afternoon.  The Act is Australia’s first licensing system for the labour hire industry and could be the template for further regulation of the labour hire industry in other States.

Snapshot of the Act
In our previous article about the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 (Qld) (Bill) on 5 June 2017 (click here) we dealt with the content of the then Bill, the conduct it prohibits and the new offences it creates.

The Bill passed this afternoon with only two amendments:

  • existing operators have 60 days to apply for their licence after the proposed commencement of the scheme, up from 28 days provided in the Bill, and
  • the definition of relevant law (described in our earlier article) now includes the Payroll Tax Act 1971 (Qld).

Questions remain 
A number of submissions to the Parliamentary Committee which reviewed the Bill raised concerns that important parts of the Act (including the scope of its coverage) would be left to be determined by regulation. 

The Act has also not resolved whether common corporate group arrangements (which involve internal provision of labour from one group company to another) will be caught.  Unless exempted by regulation, such group structures will need to obtain a labour hire licence to operate without risk of penalty.  

Where to from here?
The Act will commence on a date to be fixed by proclamation.
 
Regulations to accompany the Act are yet to be published but will inform how the Government proposes that the labour hire licensing system will operate.

McCullough Robertson will provide a further update once the regulations are published.



Focus covers legal and technical issues in a general way.  It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases.  Focus is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice.  Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.

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