In what is an Australian-first, a Queensland Magistrates Court has convicted a Company and fined them $60,000 for operating without the necessary license now required under Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (QLD). Under this legislation, if a company supplies workers under a labour hire arrangement without a license to do so, the corporation may be liable for a penalty of up to $391,650.

Despite having been told that its application for such a license had been withdrawn (due to a “tip off” from a community member who was aware that compliance was not being met), the Company still continued to provide workers through a labour hire arrangement.

The Court offered little sympathy to the Company, despite this being its first offence. It had been previously warned, the defendant refused to cooperate with the investigation, and then failed to appear in Court. The Magistrate was of the view that this behaviour was a continuation of the conduct exhibited when breaching the legislation.

Whilst this is a Queensland matter, it is important to note that the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 continues to operate in South Australia despite the Marshall Government indicating that they intended to repeal the legislation as part of their election promises. The Marshall Government has failed to obtain the necessary numbers to do so, and therefore the Consumer and Business Services Department of the South Australian Government has recommenced accepting license applications in accordance with this legislation.

Accordingly, the successful conviction in Queensland is a timely reminder for all South Australian Labour Hire Providers to lodge their license applications by 31 August 2019. Should Labour Hire Providers fail to obtain the required licenses, they risk similar penalty provisions to that under the Queensland regime.

Should you wish to know more about the labour hire licensing arrangements now in place in South Australia or in any other State or Territory in Australia, please contact me at Hallett Law.