‘Long overdue’ labour hire laws take pressure off Valley farmers
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.
FARM HAND: New labour hire laws come into effect on Monday.