A number of unlicensed labour hire providers, and B&E Poultry (Qld) Pty Ltd, the poultry processor who engaged them to provide workers for its Ormeau factory when they did not have a labour hire licence, have received fines totalling $310,000.
This follows proceedings in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court today.
In 2019, Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit conducted a joint compliance activity with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland which uncovered the offences. Despite being warned to only use licensed labour hire providers, the offences continued for a number of weeks.
In November 2020, one of the providers, Fancey Pty Ltd, was convicted for unlicensed providing under section 10 of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 and fined $50,000.
Earlier today, B&E Poultry was fined $100,000 and its director Xu Chun Dong $50,000 on four counts of engaging unlicensed labour hire providers to perform a range of roles in the factory, including as de-boners, packers and delivery drivers.
Labour contractors GY Services Pty Ltd and MK Sun Pty Ltd were both fined $40,000 and their respective directors $15,000 each for providing workers to B&E Poultry without a licence.
In sentencing, Magistrate Michael O’Driscoll noted the overriding purpose of protecting vulnerable labour hire workers and that the defendants had committed serious offences, as evidenced by the very high maximum penalties available.
While taking into account mitigating circumstances, including an early guilty plea, his Honour noted the need to deter others from committing these offences and to make it clear the community denounces the conduct.
The prosecutions are another strong reminder to make sure a labour hire licence is in place when workers are provided in Queensland. Serious penalties apply to both providers and users of unlicensed labour hire. Corporations face maximum fines of $400,000, while for individuals, it’s almost $138,000, or three years imprisonment.
These hefty fines reinforce how Queensland’s pioneering labour hire licensing scheme protects vulnerable workers and raises the standards in the industry.
For more information on Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme go to www.labourhire.qld.gov.au
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