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Labour hire licensing in the cleaning industry

Example Is a license required?

1. 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 (supplied by the sports club) and relay instructions to staff from the event coordinator.

Clean Event is engaged to supply suitably qualified/experienced staff to the sports club. The workers can be directed by the sports club in terms of what work is done and how. Although Clean Event supplies two supervisors, these supervisors are generally just present to assist in the management of the staff and relaying of instructions. 

Yes. 

Clean Event is considered to be a labour hire provider in this case and will require a labour hire licence.

2. A hotel needs additional cleaners to clean their hotel rooms. They contact Super Duper Cleaning Pty Ltd (SDC) to provide additional cleaners for two weeks to cover a busy period. SDC supplies one of their workers, who works within the hotel ‘backfilling’.

In these circumstances SDC is not engaged to produce an outcome, does not supply materials or equipment and is not responsible to rectify defective work. 

Yes. 

SDC is considered to be a labour hire provider in this case and will require a labour hire licence.

However, SDC may wish to consider if the ‘in-house employee’ exemption may apply to their circumstances (see below example).

3. Leading on from the above example, SDC supplies a worker, Bob, to the hotel who is engaged by SDC as a full-time employee. Bob expects to return to his usual job working directly for SDC after the two weeks finish, and is not normally supplied by SDC to work for other people or businesses.

Bob has simply been ‘loaned’ to the hotel temporarily on an ad-hoc basis. SDC does not normally provide its employees to other businesses in this way. 

No.

This would normally be an arrangement which would require a labour hire licence, however, because the worker who is supplied is an ‘in house employee’, and is only supplied on a temporary basis, SDC will not require a licence to supply that particular worker in those circumstances.

An ‘in-house’ employee is defined as an individual who:
(a) is engaged as an employee by the provider on a regular and systematic basis; and
(b) has a reasonable expectation the employment with the provider will continue; and
(c) primarily performs work for the provider other than as a worker supplied to another person to do work for the other person.

Examples provided in the regulations that meet this requirement include irregular arrangements, such as secondments, rather than arrangements which are part of a business’ operating model generally.

4. Centre management for a shopping centre enters into a contract with Contract Cleaning Pty Ltd (Contract Cleaning) to supply them with two cleaners. These workers work on rotating shifts to clean the shopping centre during set trading hours. Contract Cleaning agrees to supply these workers for a fixed fee for 12 months.

Centre management specifies what tasks they want carried out and when, and may from time to time direct the cleaners to undertake ad-hoc tasks.  

Yes.

Contract Cleaning is considered to be a labour hire provider in this case and will require a labour hire licence.

5. Centre management for a shopping centre enters into a contract with Clean Machine Pty Ltd (Clean Machine) to provide fixed price cleaning services for 12 months.

Clean Machine is responsible under the contract to clean the shopping centre to a satisfactory standard as stipulated in the agreement. Clean Machine has control over the way in which its workers perform the task, supplies all materials and equipment, is not directed by the host business and is responsible for rectifying any defective work.

For example, Clean Machine might do an assessment of the site, assess how many workers are required to complete the work the shopping centre has outlined, and what the most efficient way of doing this is. Clean Machine might create detailed run sheets for each cleaner and provide a supervisor to direct the work and ensure the work is up to standard. Centre management does not direct the workers in terms of what they do or how they do it, as they have engaged Clean Machine to look after all aspects of ensuring the shopping centre is clean.

No.

Clean Machine is not considered to be a labour hire provider in this case and will not require a labour hire licence to supply workers under this arrangement.

6. Sparkles and Shines Pty Ltd (SnS) contracts a large business to provide Queensland-wide cleaning service to all the businesses corporate offices after hours. Under the contract, SnS offers this service for 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 might do an assessment of the site, assess how many workers are required to complete the work outlined, and what the most efficient way of doing this is. They might create detailed ‘run sheets’ for each cleaner and provide a supervisor to direct the work. SnS is responsible under contract to deliver the cleaning service on those sites to a satisfactory standard, has control over the way in which its workers perform the task, supplies all materials and equipment, is not directed by the host business and is responsible to rectify any defective work . 

No.
 

SnS is not considered to be a labour hire provider in this case and will not require a labour hire licence to supply workers under this arrangement.

However, SnS should ensure that it does not undertake any other activities that would be considered to be labour hire. 

7. Leading on from example six, two of the offices SnS have been contracted to clean are in a regional location where SnS does not have any staff. As a result, SnS engages Local Cleaning Company Pty Ltd (LCC) as a subcontractor to provide the cleaning services at those regional sites.

LCC has all the same obligations to SnS, that is, it has an obligation to deliver a certain standard of cleaning, is responsible for rectifying defects, provide equipment and is not directed by the host business.

No.

LCC is not considered to be a labour hire provider and will not require a labour hire licence.

In this example, the nature of the arrangement is for more than the supply of a worker, and LCC takes on a range of obligations in relation to the work.

8. Leading on from example 7, LCC does not employ any staff directly. Instead LCC engages two other subcontractors to supply staff to clean the sites, to be supplied on a rotating roster with the times and number of staff required set out by LCC.

The subcontractors’ obligations are merely to provide a suitably qualified cleaner to LCC, who then works within LCC’s business in the same way that an employee would, if LCC was to employ them directly. LCC remains responsible for ensuring the cleaning is up to the required standard, provides all the tools and equipment and trains the subcontractor’s workers in LCC’s systems and processes for cleaning the site. The subcontractor’s worker is paid for hours worked.

Yes.

LCC is required to ensure they only engage licensed labour hire providers, and must ensure that both subcontractors are licensed.

In this example, the nature of the arrangement is for the supply of a worker, and is considered to be labour hire.


Last updated 11 March 2019