News & Views
27th May 2020
Introduction of new labour hire licencing scheme for the ACT
On 20 February 2020, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety introduced a new labour hire licensing Bill to the Assembly. The Bill is the first labour hire licence scheme for ACT and has been implemented to:
- protect workers from exploitation by providers of labour hire services;
- ensure labour hire service providers meet their workplace obligations and responsibilities to the workers they supply;
- promote the integrity of the labour hire services industry; and
- promote responsible practices in the labour hire services industry.
The new laws are expected to be implemented in 2021 (and may be subject to change until they come into effect) and there will be a 6-month transitional period beginning in January 2021, which will allow labour hire providers to apply for a labour hire licence. Subsequently, a publicly available licence register will be created to assist businesses, workers and the community to ensure they are dealing with legitimate labour hire providers. The register will include the following information:
- the licensee’s registered business name;
- if the licensee operates the business under another name the business’s trading name;
- the licensee’s ABN or ACN;
- the expiry date of the licence;
- any condition on the licence; and
- any other information prescribed by the regulations.
Labour Hire Licences
Under the Bill, a person must not provide labour hire services unless the person holds a labour hire licence. A person can apply to the Commissioner for a licence. Once an application is made, the Commissioner must within a reasonable time:
- issue the licence; or
- refuse to issue the licence.
When deciding to issue the licence, the Commissioner must be satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to the hold the licence. The Commissioner must also consider the following in determining whether the applicant is a suitable person:
- the applicants character including honesty, integrity and professionalism;
- whether the applicant has demonstrated an ability to or a history of ongoing compliance with industry standards and workplace laws;
- whether an applicant has previously held a licence that has been cancelled or suspended;
- whether the applicant has been subject to regulatory action under a labour hire law;
- whether the applicant has been convicted of an offence against a workplace law or standard or another law that effect the applicant’s suitability;
- if the applicant is an individual, whether the applicant has been insolvent or whether the applicant was an executive officer of a corporation that has been placed in administration, receivership or liquidation; and
- if the applicant has held a labour licence under another labour hire law and that licence is not subject to any regulator actions.
The licence will be subject to a number of conditions including but not limited to the following:
- the licensee must comply with the act;
- the licensee must not contravene workplace laws or standards; and
- the licensee is to notify the Commissioner of any regulatory action taken against the licensee under the labour hire law.
If the Commissioner decides to issue a labour hire licence it can be for no more than 12 months or any longer period prescribed by the regulations which has yet to be provided.
Under the proposed Bill a person will have committed an offence and be liable for penalties in the following circumstances:
- if a person provides labour hire services without a labour hire licence;
- if a person falsely represents that they hold a labour hire licence;
- if a person holds a labour licence that is subject to a condition and breaches that condition; and
- if a person enters into an arrangement for the provision of labour hire services and the provider does not hold a labour hire license, unless the person has a reasonable excuse for doing so.
Please note that this document is not legal advice and should not be taken to be legal advice. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance. If you have any questions, please contact NECA Legal on 1300 361 099 or email us at email@example.com