Mandatory labour hire licensing scheme introduced

Published Thursday, 25 May, 2017 at 01:00 PM

Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Grace Grace

A Bill to create a mandatory labour hire licensing scheme has been introduced to Parliament today to address the growing exploitation and mistreatment of vulnerable workers. 

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said a licensing scheme had become the only option following widespread evidence of rorting and exploitation of workers. 

“Queensland is going it alone following the Federal Government’s inability to act in this area. 

“Some of the stories we’ve heard about worker exploitation are appalling. Some farm workers have been forced to work entire days harvesting produce without food or drink, without pay, as well as being forced to live in isolated transient accommodation. 

“The only way to put an end to this kind of appalling exploitation is through the introduction of a proper labour hire regulation scheme. 

“You need a licence to operate a real estate agency or to be a motor car dealer, so why shouldn’t you need a licence to run a labour hire firm?” 

Minister Grace said the government had consulted widely with key industry stakeholders and the majority supported the introduction of a licensing scheme. 

“They’re sick and tired of seeing workers outrageously exploited, and fed up with being undercut by shonky operators who flout the rules with impunity. 

“Our mandatory licensing scheme is aimed squarely at protecting workers and restoring a level playing field so that ethical operators can compete fairly, without imposing any unnecessary administrative burdens. 

“Our proposed new laws will be backed by stiff penalties and some offenders will be liable for criminal prosecution. 

“A compliance unit will also be established to check licence holders for continued compliance with their licence conditions, and to investigate complaints.” 

Media contact: Martin Philip 0427 919548