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Upcoming Changes Impacting Labour Hire Arrangements.

Published January 08, 2018 (last updated June 25, 2020) -
Upcoming Changes Impacting Labour Hire Arrangements

Please note that the information provided below is relevant as of 08/01/18.

Legislation has recently been passed in Queensland and South Australia that will affect labour hire companies and those that use the services of labour hire companies.

Who do the changes affect?

This legislation will not only affect businesses based in Queensland and South Australia, but will also impact on businesses who engage workers through a labour hire company that is based in either Queensland or South Australia and businesses that engage labour hire workers to perform duties in either Queensland or South Australia, even though the business is based outside of these states.

What do the changes mean?

Both pieces of legislation establish a licensing scheme requiring providers of labour hire services to apply for and obtain a licence in order to operate and prohibiting anyone engaging labour hire companies from engaging an unlicensed provider.


The penalties in Queensland for operating as a labour hire provider without a licence or for engaging an unlicensed provider are up to $130,439 (1034 penalty units) or up to three years’ imprisonment for an individual and up to $378,450 (3000 penalty units) for a corporation.

In South Australia, the penalties are a fine of up to $140,000 and/or up to three years’ imprisonment for individuals and up to $400,000 for corporations.

When are the changes operative?

The new legislation in Queensland is operative from 16 April 2018. Labour hire providers will have 60 days from this date to lodge an application for a licence.

The new legislation in South Australia is operative from 1 March 2018. Labour hire providers will have six months from this date to get a licence.

What can impacted businesses do to prepare?

Labour hire companies based or operating in Queensland or South Australia should take steps to ensure they fulfil the criteria to obtain a labour hire licence.

Those engaging labour hire workers in either Queensland or South Australia should put processes and procedures in place to ensure businesses with which they are engaging are licensed labour hire providers.

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