Labour Hire Licensing scheme passed to help better protect workers

Released 22/05/2020

Workers employed through Labour Hire providers will have better protections following the ACT Government’s Labour Hire Licensing Bill passing the Assembly today.

The ACT’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme will require labour hire providers to apply for a licence, meet a ‘suitable person’ test and demonstrate a history of ongoing compliance with industry standards and workplace laws.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety, Suzanne Orr said that the scheme will help protect workers in unstable employment, while rewarding businesses who do the right thing.

“The ACT Government recognises the serious impact of COVID-19 on our community and economy. We have delivered a range of economic survival measures to ensure small to medium sized business and their workers receive the support they need to get through this crisis and we will continue to do what is necessary to help Canberrans recover,” Minister Orr Said.

“The ACT’s labour hire licensing scheme is designed to do exactly that by ensuring our most vulnerable workers can expect the same workplace standards as any other worker in the ACT.”

Minister Orr said businesses would also be given time to prepare, acknowledging the effects of COVID-19 on the local economy.

“The scheme will include a six-month transition period commencing on 1 January 2021, similar to what has been provided in other jurisdictions. This will allow businesses time to prepare and for economic activity to resume throughout the city.”

During the six-month transition period, the penalties under the new scheme will not apply. No enforcement activities under the new legislation will be applied during this time. This will allow labour hire providers without a licence time to comply with the new regulatory framework.

“A labour hire licensing scheme will ensure the rights and conditions of labour hire workers in the ACT are upheld with new penalties to apply to providers who do the wrong thing,” Minister Orr said.

“We know that workers in unstable employment are particularly prone to poor working conditions. That is why this bill is so crucial and why it has been designed to ensure all workers enjoy the same rights.

“The ACT Government is committed to strengthening protections for working Canberrans which is why the ACT’s scheme will have broad and comprehensive coverage.”

A publicly available licence register will assist businesses, workers and the community to know if they are dealing with legitimate labour hire providers.

- Statement ends -

Section: Suzanne Orr, MLA | Media Releases

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