From 16 April 2018 all labour hire providers operating in Queensland will need to apply for a licence.
Who needs a licence?
The Labour Hire Licencing Act 2017 (the Act) establishes a mandatory licensing scheme for all labour hire providers operating in Queensland. Users of labour hire services can only use a licensed labour hire provider.
Labour hire providers supply workers to work for another business or person (the labour hire user), the workers are paid by the labour hire provider for the work they do.
If you supply a worker or workers to work for another business or person, you should consider whether you are operating as a labour hire provider. If you are, you need to be licensed.
The following information will help you assess if you need to apply for a licence.
What is not a labour hire service?
Recruitment and permanent placement services, volunteering arrangements, workplace consultants and genuine subcontracting arrangements (e.g. those often used in the building and construction industry), are not considered to be labour hire providers and do not fall within the labour hire licensing scheme.
In addition, businesses that only supply workers described below to not required a licence. These workers are not considered to be labour hire workers for the purposes of the Act:
- a high income employee who earns more than $142,000 per annum and is not covered by an industrial award or agreement
- an employee who is employed by an "employment/service entity" within a business group and works only for an within that single recognisable business
- an "in-house employee" who temporarily works for another person or business. an "in-house employee" is defined in the Labour Hire Licensing Regulation 2018.
Examples of the supply of an "in-house employee" to do work on a temporary basis:
- a lawyer employed by a law firm is seconded for a period of time to a client of the law firm to do work for the client
- a consultant employed by a consultancy business is supplied to a business to conduct a review for the other business
- a person employed by a community care organisation on an ongoing basis and who usually works for the organisation in a variety of locations, including in another person's home.
When is a licence required?
The Act sets our what is meant by labour hire provider, labour hire services and labour hire worker.
The Act provides examples of labour hire providers:
- a contractor who supplies workers to a farmer or fruit grower to pick produce for the farmer or grower
- a group training organisation or principal employer organisation under the Further education and Training act 2014 that supplies an apprentice or trainee to an employer
- an employment agency who on-hires temporary administration staff to a business
Examples of labour hire services
Example 1 - Nursing
A hospital contacts a nursing temp agency to provide five extra nurses to work for two weeks. The temp agency supplies the nurses to work in the hospital. The temp agency pays the nurses' wages and invoices the hospital.
YES - The temp agency is considered to be a labour hire provider in this case.
Example 2 - Information Technology (IT) help desk staff
A business contacts an IT recruitment service looking for extra IT help desk workers to assist its existing help desk workforce while a new IT system is being deployed. The IT recruitment service supplies the business with the additional workers. The IT recruitment service pays those workers and invoices the business.
YES - The IT recruitment agency is considered to be a labour hire provider in this case.
Example 3 - Building and Construction Industry
A building company is developing a block of apartments and subcontracts the electrical work to another business. The electrical subcontractor is responsible for fulfilling the contractual obligations which includes supplying its workers to the site and for the rectification of any defects in the work done.
NO - This appears to be a genuine subcontracting arrangement and is therefore not considered to be labour hire.
General labour hire industry information:
Industry specific factsheets providing examples of when a labour hire licence is or is not required are under development and will be available for:
- building and construction
- agriculture and horticulture
If you are still unsure whether a labour hire licence is required you may contact us for more information or you may seek your own legal advice.