Labour hire rorters left with nowhere to hide in Queensland

22 September 2017

Unscrupulous labour hire operators who seek to rip off vulnerable workers will have no place to hide in Queensland, thanks to a nation-leading licensing scheme enacted in State Parliament.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said under the new licensing scheme – the first to be introduced in Australia - all labour hire providers operating in Queensland would need to:

“Shonks, shysters and cheats have brought Queensland’s labour hire industry into disrepute,” Ms Grace said.

“For far too long, dodgy operators have been blatantly exploiting vulnerable workers and ripping off those without the power to fight back.

“Just last week an investigation was launched into a labour hire operator in the Lockyer Valley for alleged underpayment of wages, the provision of unsafe accommodation and unsafe drinking water and unregistered transport.

“To make matters worse, it’s even alleged some of the workers were charged job finding fees – it doesn’t get much lower than that.

“These rorts and abuses have been allowed to flourish under the watch of a timid federal Coalition government, who along with their lazy Queensland LNP counterparts, have turned a blind eye to this disgraceful exploitation.

“Legitimate businesses are sick and tired of being undercut by these dodgy operators and their unlawful practices – they want them stomped out, full stop.

“Ideally we’d like to see a national labour hire licensing scheme to end these abuses but with Malcom Turnbull missing in action on this issue, Queensland has no choice but to go it alone.

“The only way to put an end to this kind of appalling exploitation is through the introduction of a proper labour hire regulation scheme.

“You need a licence to operate a real estate agency or to be a motor car dealer, so why shouldn’t you need a licence to run a labour hire firm?”

Ms Grace said the government had consulted with key industry stakeholders and the majority supported the introduction of a licensing scheme.

“Our reforms aim to protect workers and restore a level playing field so that ethical operators can compete fairly, without imposing unnecessary red tape.

“The new laws will be backed by stiff penalties and some offenders will be liable for criminal prosecution.”

Heather Moore, National Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, The Salvation Army Freedom Partnership, said:

"The Salvation Army commends the Queensland Government for passing this legislation to protect fair employers from unethical competition and to protect workers - both Australians and migrants - from all forms of labour exploitation.

“We see this is a critical step to disrupting the business model built on exploiting vulnerable people and holding those who use it to account."

Queensland’s labour hire scheme will be up and running in 2018.

 

--ENDS--

 

Source:   Queensland Government - www.statements.qld.gov.au

Contact:  Martin Philip 0427 919 548

External Links:  N/A

Recent news by:  Queensland Government

 

 

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