In August 2023, Australia’s Industrial Relations Ministers agreed to produce a model for a harmonised labour hire regulation scheme by the end of October 2023 (the Model Harmonised LH Scheme).
The Model Harmonised LH Scheme comes after the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (the DEWR) released the “National Labour Hire Regulation: Towards a single national scheme” consultation paper in March 2023.
The consultation paper proposed that the Federal Government establish a single national labour hire licensing scheme that would take over from the existing labour hire licensing schemes in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory to ensure a single set of regulatory obligations apply to labour hire providers across Australia.
The consultation paper identified a variety of features that should be included in the single national labour hire licensing scheme such as:
- universal coverage applying to labour hire providers operating in all industries across Australia;
- licencing requirements which include labour hire providers being licensed before they provide a labour hire service;
- a standard licence duration of 12 months;
- strict obligations on labour hire providers and host employers; and
- civil and criminal penalties in the event a labour hire provider or host employer breaches its obligations under the scheme.
It is yet to be confirmed the extent to which these features will be included in the Model Harmonised LH Scheme. For now, the DEWR has reported that the Model Harmonised LH Scheme will include all the necessary features of the existing schemes and a mechanism for mutual recognition of labour hire licences across jurisdictions to reduce regulatory burden for businesses.
We will keep you updated on the progress of the Model Harmonised LH Scheme.
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