Queensland Law Society

Labour Hire Licensing update

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (LHL Act) and the accompanying regulation commenced on 16 April 2018.

The LHL Act establishes mandatory labour hire licensing which required existing labour hire providers to apply for a licence by 15 June 2018. Those providers can continue to operate while their application is being assessed. From 15 June 2018, any new labour hire business must have a licence before it commences operation.

Information on the LHL Act and scheme is available on the Labour Hire Licensing Queensland website. The website is supported by a helpdesk call centre which can be contacted on 1300 576 088. Importantly, the website includes a register of licensed labour hire providers, avenues to report problems and contact information for the Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit. New industry factsheets are coming soon to the website.

The LHL Act covers the labour hire industry. It does not apply to genuine subcontracting arrangements or recruitment and permanent employee placement services (whereby a recruitment agency supplies the worker whom the end user employs and pays directly).

Members with clients who lend or provide labour-only workers to other businesses outside their grouped entities should urgently consider these new obligations and seek advice. Likewise, members or clients who use labour hire should review the register to ensure their labour hire provider is licensed to avoid significant penalties for using an unlicensed provider.

Members using labour hire can ensure they are using one of the 212 providers currently licensed by searching the register of licensed labour hire providers or searching the 1254 pending applications list to check if your labour hire provider applied for a licence prior to 15 June 2018.

As a further administrative process, members may consider including a contract provision warranting that the provider must maintain a labour hire license during the contract period. A carefully drafted provision may require the provider to inform you in writing as soon as possible if the provider had their licence suspended, cancelled, modified or had a condition added during the contract period as a reasonable step to avoid engaging an unlicensed labour hire provider.