Labour hire licensing has become the preferred model of regulation of all sectors of the on hire and contracting sector across multiple jurisdictions with little consideration for the differing specialisms or, more importantly, APSCo Australia has responded to all inquiries and hearings related to draft legislation and regulations with recommendations for clarity. The Association has worked closely in each jurisdiction, with those responsible for drafting the regulations, to address the fundamental premise of defining the scope of labour hire.
Labour hire licensing schemes to date have been structured to capture any company who supplies a worker to another entity to do work in the states that have licensing schemes in place. This means that even if you do not have an operation in that state, you must obtain a license before supplying a worker to perform work. There will be a fee payable, renewed annually. The fee structures are currently different in each jurisdiction.
Licensing arrangements will only apply to the state in which they exist, so companies will need to apply for a license in any state where they place talent in non-permanent roles.
South Australia’s scheme commenced on 1st of March, 2018 and companies have six months from commencement to apply for their license.
Queensland’s scheme commenced on the 6th of April and companies will have sixty days from that date to apply for a license.
The regulations vary from state to state, but there are some common elements across all legislation. License holders (Directors, Owner/Managers and others) will need to:
• pass a “fit and proper” person test,
• undergo a financial review,
• demonstrate business knowledge,
• demonstrate an understanding of legislative compliance, and
• undertake a background check.
APSCo Australia’s Position Statement
APSCo Australia has maintained a consistent position that there is not a need for an all - encompassing licensing scheme across every sector of labour hire which is, of itself, poorly defined. Our position has been that the majority of professional staffing and contracting companies in the sector are already compliant and another layer of regulation is burdensome in both the administration and increased costs. APSCo Australia Members undertake a comprehensive Business Verification Review, have a strong quality standard Talent Engagement Standard to adhere to and have sophisticated mechanisms to monitor their obligations to ensure that workers’ rights are protected and supported.
APSCo has accepted that the regulation of labour hire will be implemented across multiple jurisdictions and has developed the following as a supplementary position while maintaining our campaign to have the professional staffing sector exempt.
APSCo Australia has asked that a consistent approach to regulation, when it is introduced, be implemented to ensure all business models can:
a) protect engagement of workers during economic fluctuations
b) facilitate business development and entrepreneurship
c) acknowledge and recognise emerging forms of work
d) ensure quality of work by referencing the following six indicators: wages, employment quality, education and training, work/life balance, fair working conditions and consultative participation.
APSCo Australia recommends the harmonisation of any labour hire regulation that is introduced as the harmonisation of WHS provided a stronger incentive for compliance, education and best practice behaviours. Harmonisation would ensure that multi-state companies and mobile workers can work to a master plan of regulation and obligations, rather than a fragmented structure that creates room for error and loopholes for avoidance.