The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld) commenced on 16th of April of this year. The Act establishes a mandatory licensing scheme for labour hire Employers, including providers based interstate or overseas who supply workers in Queensland.
While many Labour Hire providers who currently operate in Queensland will have reviewed their arrangements and submitted their license applications, many employers remain uncertain as to what constitutes ‘labour hire’.
In short, it will depend on the circumstances of the arrangements with clients. In particular, whether a full scope of services are being provided as opposed to the simple supply of labour to perform specific duties. In other words, where the primary purpose of the arrangement is other than the supply of labour, a labour hire license will not be required for the performance of that work.
Further clarification has been received on the matter from the Office of Industrial Relations in regards to particular examples.
In situations where the traffic control company is supplying its workers as labour only to a primary company, to perform their work, the traffic control company must hold a labour hire licence. For example:
The primary company has already obtained the relevant permits and is responsible for ensuring conditions on the permit are met; and
The traffic control company supplies qualified workers to attend the site with signage.
In situations where the workers are working for the traffic control company in the performance of its obligations under the contract, rather than being supplied to work for a third party, a labour hire license will not be required. For example, the traffic control company:
makes arrangements for the closure of a road;
obtains the relevant permits including submitting a traffic management plan, having it approved, and the permit is issued in the traffic control company’s name; and
supplies a team of qualified workers to attend the site with a company vehicle and signage, ensuring no traffic, other than event traffic, enters the area.
Wet hire arrangements are not considered to be labour hire as the primary purpose of the arrangement is for the supply of plant with a required specialist allowing the plant to be used by the client. If an operator is supplied, without plant, to operate that business’ equipment, a labour hire license would be required.
The supply of road maintenance contractors will depend on the circumstances of the arrangement, similar to the traffic control examples above. Where there is a genuine subcontract to undertake a full scope of work on behalf of another business (e.g. maintenance of a guardrail network), a labour hire license will not be required. Where merely workers are supplied to perform the work of the client, even where tools are supplied, a labour hire licence will be required.