This year the South Australian and Queensland Governments are implementing new mandatory Labour Hire Licensing Acts. These Acts propose to protect workers from exploitation and mistreatment by labour hire providers, support legitimate labour hire operators and promote integrity of the industry.
We are writing to inform you of how Acts will impact both clients and contractors, and how Speller International are preparing for licensing so that you can have confidence in our service to you.
How will the Act work
The Act will make it unlawful for a client to use an unlicensed ‘labour hire’ provider in South Australia and Queensland. ‘Labour hire’ is defined as anyone who in the course of conducting a business, supplies a worker to another person to do work.
This means that all labour hire providers either placing staff in SA/QLD or placing SA/QLD residents in other Australian states, will be required to obtain and maintain a Labour Hire Licence.
Both States will establish a public register of licence holders that will be available online.
It will be the responsibility of both the Labour Hire provider to be licenced and the company using the Labour Hire provider to ensure they are licenced.
Both Acts impose heavy penalties for offences including fines and prison sentences.
When will the Act begin?
- In SA, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 commences on 1 March 2018.
- Transition period to submit an application to obtain a licence ends on 1 September 2018.
- In QLD, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 commences on 16 April 2018.
- Transition period to submit an application to obtain a licence ends on 15 June 2018.
- Victoria is expected to introduce the Act later this year.
- At this stage, the other Australian States and Territories have not indicated they will implement at Labour Hire Licensing Act.
Both States have allowed a transition period for labour hire providers to apply for and obtain their licences. Provided that your labour hire provider has applied for a licence within the transition period (outlined above) it will not be an offence to continue to deal with the provider until the licence application has been decided – even if the decision is after the end of the transition period.
How do Labour Hire providers obtain a licence?
- pass a fit-and-proper person test (Directors, Managers, Owners)
- undergo a financial review
- demonstrate business knowledge
- demonstrate an understanding of legislative compliance
- undertake a background check
What are Speller International doing to be compliant?
We are presently preparing our Labour Hire Licensing Response Plan and will be apply for licences in both SA and QLD within the prescribed transition periods.
We are being regularly informed and guided by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies in Australia (APSCo) and the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA). RSCA are the leading industry and professional body for the recruitment in Australia, and have been working closely with both Governments on these Acts.
We are working closely with advisors to ensure that we are properly prepared for the changes and that our transition to the new arrangements is managed professionally and smoothly.
What does it mean for companies engaging with Labour Hire providers?
- Companies based in SA and QLD must only use a valid licensed provider
- Companies hiring SA and QLD residents in a labour hire agreement in any other state in Australia must only use a valid licensed provider
- When entering into an agreement for Labour Hire where a Third Party is involved, all chains of hire are required to hold a current and valid Licence.
- It is the responsibility of the company to check the online register to ensure all chains of hire hold valid licenses.
- Strict penalties will apply if you use a provider who isn’t licensed, including fines and prison sentences.
If you currently use a Labour Hire provider in either SA or QLD, we recommend you touch base with all providers to find out what their plans are to obtain a license.
What does it mean for Contractors?
- People wanting to contract in SA or QLD need to ensure the Labour Hire provider they are working with holds a valid license.
- Residents of SA or QLD who are contracting in any other state in Australia need to ensure the Labour Hire provider they are working with holds a valid license. For contractors who own property in multiple states, you technically reside in the state where you are registered to vote.
- At this stage there is not concrete information regarding whether ABN Contractors will need to obtain their own licences in either state. Speller International will endeavour to share this information with you as it becomes available.
If you are a currently contracting in either SA or QLD, we recommend you touch base with your Labour Hire provider to find out what their plans are to obtain a license.
Questions or concerns?
At present many of the details of the labour hire licensing schemes, in both States, remain unknown because neither state has passed their regulations or issued the forms and guidelines that are necessary to support their licensing schemes. We expect that those will be released shortly and that details of the schemes will become clearer at that time.
Judy Cole has been appointed to lead the management of our Labour Hire Licensing Response Plan. If you have any questions or concerns arising from the new labour hire licensing laws,
We now look forward to a smooth transition into the new licensing regime and will endeavour to provide updates to our clients and candidates as further details of the licensing schemes become available.