New laws live next month
THE Queensland Government launched its new labour hire licensing laws last week in the Lockyer Valley.
These laws will require all labour hire companies to be licensed by June 15, 2018, and after that time growers must use licensed labour hire companies or face strict penalties.
While we still contend that a national approach would be more effective, we are pleased to say the Queensland Government has listened to our concerns and provided clarity in the underpinning regulations to ensure growers are not inadvertently characterised as labour hire companies.
The specific exemptions are described as follows:
- A worker who is also the director of a business who is the only worker 'supplied' by their own business.
- An 'in-house employee' who is temporarily supplied to another person, where an 'in-house' employee is defined as an individual who: a) is engaged as an employee by the provider on a regular and systematic basis; b) has a reasonable expectation the employment with the provider will continue; c) primarily performs work for the provider other than as a worker supplied to another person to do work for the other person.
- An employee working for an employing entity used wholly within a single recognisable business.
The Queensland Government has launched a stand-alone website where you can apply for a labour hire licence, find a licensed labour hire provider, report a problem or learn more about your rights and obligations under the Act.
The website includes a searchable public register of licencees so growers engaging the services of LHCs can check if a labour hire provider is licensed or not.
Breaches of this legislation can result in fines and penalties for growers and labour hire providers.
To apply for a licence or search a database of registered labour hire providers, visit www.labourhire.qld.gov.au.
Growcom will continue to monitor cost impacts though the supply chain and work with governments via the Fair Farms initiative to ensure our industry continues to improve workplace standards.