‘Long over­due’ labour hire laws take pres­sure off Val­ley farm­ers

The Queensland Times - - News -

A NEW era for Queens­land’s new labour hire laws will be­gin on Mon­day.

Af­ter the state’s new labour hire li­cenc­ing sys­tem was in­tro­duced on April 16, com­pa­nies were given a 60-day grace pe­riod to ap­ply for a li­cence, fin­ish­ing to­day.

Com­pa­nies will still be able to op­er­ate while the li­cenc­ing process is un­der way.

The new laws will en­sure labour hire com­pa­nies, in­stead of farm­ers, are re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing the work­ers have cor­rect visas, pay­ment and ac­com­mo­da­tion con­di­tions.

Lock­yer Val­ley Grow­ers pres­i­dent Michael Sip­pel said the change was long over­due.

“If a farmer has 300 labour hire work­ers work­ing, how is he meant to check the visas and con­di­tions of them?

“If you were ren­o­vat­ing your house and the plum­ber you hired had an ap­pren­tice, it isn’t up to the householder to check that ap­pren­tice is be­ing paid cor­rectly. But that’s what was hap­pen­ing with farm­ers us­ing labour hire com­pa­nies,” he said.

Mr Sip­pel said the re­gion’s ma­jor labour hire com­pa­nies had al­ready signed up and less rep­utable op­er­a­tors were avoid­ing li­cences.

In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Grace Grace warned that un­li­censed labour hire com­pa­nies would face fines or jail. Labour hire in­dus­try body the Re­cruit­ment, Con­sult­ing and Staffing As­so­ci­a­tion did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Photo: Contributed

FARM HAND: New labour hire laws come into ef­fect on Mon­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.