The South Australian Labour Hire Licensing Scheme has recommenced with the South Australian Government now accepting applications for Labour Hire Licences from last Friday 14 June 2019.

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (SA) requires anyone who provides labour hire services in South Australia to be licensed in order to operate in the State. Labour hire providers operating in South Australia will need to lodge their applications for labour hire licensing by 31 August 2019.

On 1 March 2018, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 commenced operating in South Australia. Following the State Election, the Liberal Marshall Government indicated its intention to repeal the legislation and the SA Consumer and Business Services ceased to accept applications for labour hire licences.  However, the State Government was not able to secure sufficient numbers in the Legislative Council to repeal the legislation.

A major criticism against the legislation was that the definition of ‘labour hire’ was too broad. Since the announcement that the scheme has resumed, there are a number of additional exemptions to the labour hire licensing requirements that better clarify who is and is not captured by the scheme.

The exemptions, that have been gazetted, under the SA scheme include situations where:

  • providing labour hire services is not a core function of the business;
  • businesses provide workers to another business within the same group of companies;
  • businesses provide workers to work in another business where both businesses are part of the same franchise;
  • businesses provide workers to work in another business that are not part of a franchise but are collectively operating using the same banner, branding or trading name.

Similarly to the schemes currently operating in Queensland and Victoria, it will be unlawful to provide labour hire services from an unlicensed provider and to accept labour hire services from an unlicensed provider.

State by state comparison

Despite the common objective of each State’s legislation to protect workers from exploitation by labour hire providers and promote the integrity of the labour hire industry, there are some important distinctions employers should be aware of.

With labour hire licensing legislation now in effect in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, labour hire providers operating across the States need to understand how the interpretation and application of these laws differ between States.

A brief comparison table is available here to assist employers navigating each State’s distinct labour hire licensing scheme.

AMMA has strongly voiced its opposition to indiscriminate labour hire licensing schemes. A key basis for AMMA’s position is that exploitation of labour hire employees had only been identified in a limited number of sectors, and not the resources and energy industry where labour hire is a valuable, responsible and commercially necessary employment model.

For more information or a discussion on how labour hire licensing will impact your business operating in the relevant states, contact [email protected].