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Labour hire provider fined $60,000 for operating without licence

A labour hire provider in Queensland has been the first to be penalised under the state’s Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017.

A & J Group Services Pty Ltd was found guilty and fined $60,000 for supplying workers to a strawberry farm without a licence.

Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has welcomed the first conviction under the new labour hire licensing law, which can carry a maximum penalty of $391,650 for a corporation.

“The Palaszczuk Government introduced Australia’s first labour hire licensing laws to ensure vulnerable workers were not subject to exploitation and mistreatment, and we know the community is right behind these new laws,” she said.

“Labour hire providers are now required to be licensed in Queensland and businesses who need to hire labour must only use licensed providers.

“The conviction achieved in this case demonstrates that the government will not hesitate to act to ensure labour hire companies are meeting their requirements.”

A community member tipped off the state’s Labour Hire Licensing Compliance Unit about the unlicensed company supplying workers.

The company’s licence application was withdrawn as it had failed to provide information about its compliance record.

Although this was the company’s first offence, the magistrate found that the company had pursued a deliberate course of misconduct as it had been warned in writing that it was not permitted to provide labour hire services in Queensland.

Further, the operator had also failed to cooperate with the investigation and did not attend the court hearing.

Under the Labour Hire Licensing Act, which came into effect on 16 April 2018, 3,166 labour hire licences have been granted.

Eleven applications were refused and 99 have been withdrawn for failures to provide compliance information, while 13 conditional licenses have been issued.

Also, seven licenses have been cancelled and 129 have been suspended.

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