Qld calls on nation to catch up with its labour hire laws

Wednesday, 21 April, 2021

Qld calls on nation to catch up with its labour hire laws

On the three-year anniversary of Queensland’s labour hire licensing laws, the state’s Industrial Relations Minister, Grace Grace, has called on the Australian Government for national action to protect workers. Minister Grace said the evidence highlights the need for national action by the federal government.

“In three years, compliance action has been taken against 650 labour hire providers in Queensland, ranging from cancelling licences to strict conditions on licences. We acted three years ago on evidence that showed serious exploitation of workers and deplorable business practices by labour hire providers. Our nation-leading scheme continues to protect workers by clamping down on the rogue operators, as well as providing our 3350 legitimate operators the level playing field they sought,” said Minister Grace.

The scheme has also enabled inspectors to work with agencies like the Australian Tax Office, the Australian Border Force, the Fair Work Ombudsman and other Commonwealth, state and local government regulators, to share intelligence and resources to tackle criminal activity.

Queensland introduced Australia’s first labour hire licensing scheme three years ago; since then, 255 licences have been suspended for non-compliance, while 83 licences have been cancelled for non-compliance. Additionally, 251 licence applications have been refused or withdrawn and 61 licences have been granted with conditions.

Five company directors and 10 businesses have been successfully prosecuted, with courts issuing a total of $820,000 in fines. Minister Grace said Queensland continues to lead on labour hire, in the absence of a national scheme.

“Before our new laws came in, you had to have a licence to sell a car and you had to have a licence to sell a house but not to sell labour. Legitimate businesses were sick and tired of being undercut by these dodgy operators and their unlawful practices — they wanted them stomped out, full stop. The only way to put an end to this kind of appalling exploitation was to introduce a proper labour hire regulation scheme. The Palaszczuk government did just that — and it’s time for national action to protect all Australian labour hire workers,” said Minister Grace.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Syda Productions

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