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Licensing

Who needs a licence?

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (the Act) establishes a mandatory licensing scheme for all labour hire providers operating in Queensland. Users of labour hire services can only use a licensed labour hire provider.

Labour hire providers supply workers to another business or person (the labour hire user) to do work. Under the arrangement, the labour hire provider has the obligation to pay the workers for the work they do (though this can be an indirect obligation, in the case of on-supply of workers).  The definition is broad, and covers outsourcing of labour, as well as contingent labour.

If you supply a worker or workers to another business or person to do work, you should consider whether you are operating as a labour hire provider and need to be licensed.

The following information will help you assess if you need to apply for a licence.

What is not a labour hire service?

Recruitment and permanent placement services, volunteering arrangements and workplace consultants are not considered labour hire services and do not fall within the labour hire licensing scheme.  Other examples of arrangements that are not considered labour hire are in the table below.

In addition, businesses that only supply workers in the following categories do not require a licence. These workers are not considered to be labour hire workers for the purposes of the Act:

  • a high income employee who earns an annualised income of more than $153,600 per annum and is not covered by an industrial award or agreement. Annualised income means a rate (hourly, weekly, etc) which, when converted to an annual income, is more than the amount of the high-income threshold
  • an employee who is supplied within a group of entities that carry on business collectively as one recognisable business (e.g. supply by a service/employing entity within a corporate group)
  • an 'in-house employee' who temporarily works for another person or business. An 'in-house employee' is defined in the Labour Hire Licensing Regulation 2018. This category covers, for example, secondments
  • executive officers of corporations, where they are the only person supplied to do work.

When is a licence required?

The Act sets out what is meant by labour hire provider, labour hire services and labour hire worker.

The Act provides examples of labour hire providers including:

  • a contractor who supplies workers to a farmer or fruit grower to pick produce for the farmer or grower
  • a group training organisation or principal employer organisation under the Further Education and Training Act 2014 that supplies an apprentice or trainee to an employer
  • an employment agency who on-hires temporary administration staff to a business.

Other examples

The below examples are provided as general guidance and are for illustrative purposes only. If you are uncertain about whether the scheme applies to you, contact us for further information or seek legal advice.

Examples of labour hire services

Occupation or industry

Example

Yes, a licence is required

No, a licence is not required

Nursing

A hospital contacts a nursing temp agency to provide five extra nurses to work for two weeks. The temp agency supplies the nurses to work in the hospital. The temp agency pays the nurses’ wages and invoices the hospital.

The character of this contract is for labour, and a labour hire licence is required by the temp agency.

 

Horticulture A grower needs their seasonal fruit picked and packed.  A contractor supplies pickers and packers, and invoices the farmer for the amount picked and packed on a weekly basis. The contractor is responsible for paying the workers. The character of this contract is for labour, and the contractor requires a labour hire licence.  
  A hostel operator supplies workers to pick vegetables in the local area, and invoices the grower on a weekly basis for the amount picked.  The hostel operator is obliged to pay the workers staying in the hostel for the work performed. The character of this contract is for labour, and the hostel operator requires a labour hire licence.  
  Same as above, except that the grower pays the workers staying in the hostel directly.   The grower is the direct employer and the hostel does not require a labour hire licence.  The grower must ensure they comply with workplace and other laws.

Information technology (IT) help desk staff

A business requires extra IT help desk workers to assist its existing help desk workforce while a new IT system is being deployed. The IT recruitment service supplies the business with the additional workers. The IT recruitment service pays those workers and invoices the business.

The character of this contract is for labour, and a labour hire licence is required by the IT recruitment service.

 

Information Technology Consultancy

A business requires someone to design and implement a customer service solution.  An IT firm submits a tender for the job, and is paid a total contract sum in stages and at completion of the job. The IT firm assumes responsibility for completion of the scope of work, and bears the associated commercial risks and legal responsibility for the work done.

 

The character of this contract does not appear to be labour – no licence is required by the IT firm.

Building and construction industry

A building company is developing a block of apartments and subcontracts the entirety of the electrical work to an electrical subcontractor, who is responsible for completing the scope of the electrical work as outlined in the contract, for a specified total sum, bears the commercial risk and legal responsibility for work done and for the rectification of any defects in the work done.

 

The character of this contract does not appear to be labour – no licence is required by the electrical subcontractor.

A business provides workers to a licensed trade contractor on an hourly rate basis to perform work for the trade contractor’s business. The business does not provide materials, is not responsible for rectifying defects, and is not engaged to meet any other contractual obligations.

The character of this contract is for labour, and the business requires a labour hire licence.

 

An earthmoving company is engaged to dig drains on a large commercial construction site. The company provides large equipment and operators to dig the drains. 
The earth moving company is responsible under the contract to ensure the drains are dug according to plans and is responsible for rectifying defects in the work and damage caused. 

 

The character of this contract does not appear to be labour, and no licence is required by the earthmoving company.

Security workers

Stadiums Pty Ltd operates a number of sporting and performance facilities on behalf of the owner of the venue.

In accordance with the terms of their liquor licence, Stadiums is required to ensure a specified number of crowd controllers are in place to manage the venue during events.

Stadiums have a small directly employed security team, however, it uses security providers to supply the required number of crowd controllers during events. Stadiums pays the security providers per hour for each of the workers supplied.

The character of this contract is for labour, and the security providers will require a labour hire licence.

 

 

A security company provides a pub with security staff. In accordance with the terms of their liquor licence, the pub is required to have a specified number of crowd controllers are in place to manage the venues. The pub uses a security provider to supply the required number of crowd controllers, and pays the security provider per hour for each of the workers supplied.

The character of this contract is for labour, and the security provider requires a labour hire licence.

 

 

A security company provides an alarm monitoring, mobile patrol and alarm response services.

The security company is contracted to undertake perimeter check at the client’s site, prevent and report damage, respond to alarms, and undertake internal and external inspections of the premises.

The workers are provided with a company vehicle by the security provider to perform the patrols.

 

The character of the contract does not appear to be labour, and no licence is required by the security company for these activities.

 

A security company has a contract with a financial institution to provide cash in transit services to that financial institution in the South East Queensland region for one year. The contract is for a fixed price per annum, which covers all cash in transit services within an agreed regular schedule. The security company provides staff, trucks, equipment and weapons required for this service. The security company is liable for any loss that occurs as a result of the cash in transit service, and carry insurance to cover any such loss.

 

The character of the contract does not appear to be labour, and no licence is required by the security company for this work.

Cleaning Workers

Clean Event Pty Ltd (Clean Event) is contacted by a sports club to provide cleaning staff for a large community sports event being held on their grounds. Clean Event agrees to supply 20 staff for five hours to conduct general cleaning duties including changing over wheelie bins, picking up rubbish, periodically cleaning the porta-loos, as well as any specific cleaning duties requested by the sports club. Two supervisors carry radios and relay instructions to staff from the event coordinator. Clean Event invoices the sports club on an hourly basis for each of the staff provided.

The character of this contract is for labour, and Clean Event requires a labour hire licence.

 

 

A hotel needs additional cleaners to clean their hotel rooms, and contacts a cleaning business to organise the additional cleaners, who are paid by the cleaning business for the number of hours they work at the hotel.

The character of this contract is for labour, and the cleaning business requires a labour hire licence.

 

 

Sparkles and Shines Pty Ltd (SnS) has a contract to clean all the corporate offices for a large business after hours. Under the contract, SnS is paid a fixed price for a year, with the price calculated per site according to the size of the site and the range of duties.

SnS is responsible under contract to deliver the specified cleaning services on those sites to specified standards, determines when and how its workers perform those tasks, supplies all materials and equipment, and is responsible to rectify any defective work.

 

The character of this contract does not appear to be for labour, and no licence is required by SNS for this work.

Traffic Management Redirect Pty Ltd (Redirect) is contracted by event organisers for a set fee to provide traffic management, including making arrangements for the closure of a road. Redirect is responsible under the contract for obtaining the relevant permits, including submitting a traffic management plan, and having it approved by the relevant local council or by the Department of Transport and Main Roads. The permit is issued in Redirect’s name. When conducting the traffic management, Redirect is responsible for ensuring no traffic, other than event specific traffic, enters the area. Redirect supplies a team of qualified workers and a supervisor to attend the site with a company ute, and is equipped with safety lights barriers and signage.   The character of this contract does not appear to be for labour, and no licence is required by Redirect for this work.
  Traffic Management Inc holds a similar contract to the above example with Queensland Transport on a large road project. Traffic Management contacts Redirect Pty Ltd to provide staff to attend and assist in managing traffic, as it doesn’t have sufficient staff to meet requirements. The character of this contract is for labour, and Redirect requires a labour hire licence. Traffic Management is a user of labour hire, and must ensure that Redirect has a licence.  
  A construction company requires assistance with traffic management around a construction site while the road is obstructed for a large delivery. The construction company has already obtained the relevant permits and is responsible for ensuring conditions on the permit are met. Redirect supplies two qualified workers to attend the site with signage. The character of this contract is for labour, and Redirect requires a labour hire licence. The construction company is a user of labour hire, and must ensure that Redirect has a licence.  
Mining

A diesel fitter works in the mine as a contractor using his own ABN. He invoices the mine for his services and pays his own GST, etc.

 

The diesel fitter is not considered to be providing a labour hire service because he is an individual worker.

 

As above, except that the diesel fitter has incorporated a company. He is the only director of the company and the only person supplied to work.

Alternatively, a husband and wife are directors of the company and only the husband is supplied.

 

As the diesel fitter is an executive officer of the corporation and the only person supplied, no licence is required.

Food processing

A poultry processing plant directly employs administration and management and some operational staff, but engages Workers Pty Ltd to provide workers to debone and pack chicken products.

The character of this contract is for labour, and Workers Pty Ltd requires a labour hire licence.

The poultry processing plant must ensure that Workers Pty Ltd has a labour hire licence.

 

If you are still unsure whether a labour hire licence is required please contact us for more information or you may seek your own legal advice.

How much does it cost?

Licence fees are calculated according to the total amount of wages or salaries paid to labour hire workers supplied in Queensland during the last financial year. To calculate total wages, you should use the definition of wages for calculating WorkCover Queensland premiums. Licence fees must be paid at application, annual renewal and restoration.

 
Total amount of wages paid in the financial year preceding the day the application is made Tier Licence fee as at 1 September 2020
$1.5 million or less 1 $1,040
$1.5 million and up to $5 million 2 $3,120
Over $5 million 3 $5,200

For a business that did not operate in the financial year immediately preceding the day the application is made, the total amount is the amount the business is projected to pay in wages in the financial year in which the application is made and the following year.

The licence fees may increase annually in line with the Queensland Government Indexation Policy.

Guide to applying for a licence

Applying online

  • To apply for a licence you will need to register to create an account and provide:
    • the applicant’s or authorised delegate’s contact details. For authorised delegates, a signed authorisation form must be retained by the business and produced if required by the Office of Industrial Relations
    • business details including ABN, entity name and trading name.
  • Once you have an account you can sign in to apply for or renew a licence.

What information will I need?

To complete an application for a licence you will need:

A partially completed application can be saved at any stage and submitted at a later time. If you need to amend your submitted application please contact us.

Where can I get help with my application?

Use the application checklist to ensure you have all the information required to complete your application.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact us.

How long does it take?

Once you have made your application and paid your licence fee, simple applications will normally be decided within 28 business days. More complex matters, or matters where further information is needed to make a decision will take longer, and may also depend on how quickly you are able to provide the required information.

Recognition of other schemes

If you hold a labour hire providers licence from another state or territory, or have a similar accreditation through another scheme, you are still required to apply for a licence in Queensland. However, the licence or accreditation may be considered in the assessing your fitness and propriety, financial viability or compliance with relevant laws.

The application will allow you to identify if you have the following accreditations or licences:

  • South Australian Labour Hire Licence
  • Queensland Building and Construction Industry (QBCC) Licence – Category 1-7 (600,001 + revenue)
  • QAssure - Industry Accreditation for ICT Suppliers
  • iSafe Licence - Association of Professional Staffing Companies Australia (APSCo)
  • Cleaning Accountability Framework (CAF)
  • StaffSure Accreditation - Recruitment & Consultant Services Association (RCSA)
  • Legal Practitioner (Queensland Practicing Certificate)
  • Registered Training Organisation (RTO)

What to do if the information I provided in my application has changed?

If you hold a licence you must advise within 14 days if there have been changes to any of the following:

  • a change in name, business name or contact details
  • an applicant is convicted of an offence that affects the person's suitability to provide labour hire services (e.g. a finding of guilty to a serious criminal offence)
  • a licensee, nominated officer or executive officer:
    • has a change in their history of compliance with relevant laws (e.g. is issued an infringement notice)
    • is disqualified from managing corporations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
    • is made insolvent under section 9 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • a licensee is placed into administration, receivership or liquidation under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • the licensee starts providing accommodation
  • the licensee starts supplying workers who hold visas.

Advice of the changes must be made online through your account.

Please contact us for more information or assistance.

Who is ineligible to apply?

A person or business cannot apply for a labour licence if they have had:


Last updated 12 February 2021