If you are planning to hire contractors in Australia, you need to take note of the new proposed act for labor hire workers, users and staff leasing providers which is the Labor Hire Licensing Act 2017.
In Victoria and Queensland, they are introducing the new licensing scheme which safeguards the labor hire workers from underpayment and unfair treatment from labor hire / staff leasing providers and promotes the integrity of the labor hire / staff leasing industry.
Starting on 16 April 2018 in Queensland, labor hire providers or staff leasing companies can apply for a license online. They will have 60 days in order to lodge an application. In addition, there will be a website dedicated solely to provide information that labor hire providers or staff leasing companies can visit to know more about the provisions of the act. Labor hire providers can also submit their reports online. While labor hire users and workers can search for registered and licensed staff leasing providers on the website.
It is expected that it will improve the transparency among the workers and labor hire / staff leasing companies and users.
Key features of the of the act are as follows:
- applies to labor hire providers across Victoria in all industries
- run by an independent Labor Hire Licensing Authority
- labor hire service providers will be required to hold a license
- users of labor hire services will be required to use only licensed providers
- providers will be required to submit information about their business and key personnel and demonstrate compliance with a fit and proper person test, workplace laws, labor hire laws, and minimum accommodation standards, to obtain a license
- objections to license applications may be made by interested persons
- licensed providers will be listed on a publicly accessible register
- the Authority will monitor and investigate compliance with the scheme
- contraventions, such as operating without a license, using an unlicensed provider and entering avoidance arrangements will attract severe financial penalties; and
- providing false or misleading information or failing to comply with a requirement of an inspector will be treated as criminal offences.
The legislation provides a level playing field to all labor hire providers and is expected that compliance to other employment regulations will improve.
South Australia will also be implementing the same licensing scheme to labor hire companies and staff contractors by March 2018.