Program to help, for sure
INDUSTRY bodies have hit back at illegal labour-hire contractors, launching a nationwide certification system.
Recruitment and employment industry group Recruitment and Consulting Services Association has joined forces with global certification company SGS to launch StaffSure – a program they believe will stamp out unethical labour-hire practices throughout Australia.
Earlier this month the Queensland Government passed the labour-hire licensing law.
The law requires all labour-hire companies to be licensed, and came off the back of high-profile cases of foreign worker exploitation within the horticulture industry.
RCSA chief executive officer Charles Cameron was outspoken on the issue at the time, stating the law had loopholes that would be exploited.
Mr Cameron said StaffSure was a simple, pragmatic solution that was developed by “listening” to farmers.
“What we heard from them was that many of the growers don’t have the resources or the capacity to go and do an audit of labour hire firms that supply them with workers,” he said.
“They have simply relied, traditionally, upon the representations made by the labour hire providers. And, unfortunately, not all labour hire firms operate with integrity and full compliance.”
StaffSure will thoroughly audit all labour-hire organisations, before giving certification.
“Essentially, we are working the supply chain to put commercial pressure on labour-hire firms to become certified,” he said.
Mr Cameron brushed off concerns that unethical labour-hire companies would be able to find loopholes within StaffSure.
“Essentially... I think it would be quite difficult for an organisation to ramp up their systems to meet the audit requirement and then scale it back down again,” he said.
“We have also implemented a system where there will be random audits... just to make sure no one is gaming the system.”
A national database of certified providers will be created, providing employers and employees with the opportunity to check company credentials prior to engagement, ensuring they are choosing a legitimate provider.
Mr Cameron said the StaffSure certification would allow buyers of staffing services to make an informed choice about the quality and legitimacy of labour hire firms and workforce contractors: protecting workers and business and using market power to change behaviour in a rapidly changing employment environment.
“StaffSure, backed by buyers of labour hire in high-risk industries, will hit unscrupulous and illegal PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED labour hire operators where it most impacts – their back pockets,” Mr Cameron said.
“Simply put, the certification of employment service providers will result in a market where buyers only buy from clean sellers and dirty sellers cease to exist because nobody is prepared to fund them.
“The good guys will be rewarded with contracts and the bad guys will be passed over.”
MAKING A STAND: RCSA CEO Charles Cameron, Jeffrey McDonald from SGS, Brisbane labour hire worker John Bolton, Clayton Warren from SGS and AWX’s regional manager Cameron Abrahams in Brisbane.