Do you provide or use labour hire services?  Important changes are coming for labour hire in Queensland and other jurisdictions

A labour hire licensing scheme will commence in Queensland, and it is expected that other states will follow suit.

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Act) was passed by the Queensland Parliament on 7 September 2017 and will commence on a date to be fixed by proclamation.  The intended purpose of the Act is to protect workers in labour hire arrangements from exploitation.  It is expected the scheme will commence in 2018.

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) means that labour hire employees working on projects may find it more difficult to avail themselves of the unfair dismissal protections in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Fair Work Act).

In this case, the labour hire employee’s contract of employment made specific reference to the employee undertaking work for a host company on a particular project.  The employee had worked on this project for 7 years, when he was involved in a ‘near miss’ safety incident.  As a result of this incident the host company advised the employer that it was exercising a right under its contract with the employer to remove the labour hire employee from the project site.  After unsuccessfully attempting to find an alternative position for the labour hire employee, the employer terminated the employee’s employment.