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Queensland Labour Hire Licensing Bill would disrupt a vast array of business contracts and services

"The Queensland Government's Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017, which is currently before the Queensland Parliament, would disrupt a vast array of business contracts and services. Numerous genuine contracting arrangements would be covered by the legislation; far beyond any reasonable notion of 'labour hire'," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"The Bill is unbalanced and would unfairly impact upon many thousands of Queensland businesses that treat their workers fairly.

"Within industry, businesses provide a huge number of different services to other businesses, and often labour is involved to a greater or lesser extent. The Bill exposes businesses, their owners and managers, to significant risks and added costs.

"Under the provisions in the Bill, harsh civil and criminal penalties would be imposed on businesses, owners and managers, including imprisonment for up to three years. The penalties would apply to those who provide 'labour hire services' without a licence and those which use an unlicensed service provider.

"The Bill would have a major, negative impact on business confidence and entrepreneurship.

"The Bill would also impose unreasonable costs and regulatory burdens on not-for-profit group training providers (e.g. Ai Group Training Services) which coordinate the training of tens of thousands of apprentices and trainees. Significant barriers would be imposed on the employment of apprentices and trainees and consequently the current youth unemployment problems in Australia would be exacerbated, career opportunities for many thousands of young Australians would be impeded, and skill shortages in numerous industries would worsen. Not-for-profit group training arrangements are not 'labour hire'.

"The Bill, if enacted, would impose significant barriers to businesses entering the labour hire industry thereby diluting competition. The Bill would also impede the legitimate outsourcing of business operations by companies in numerous industries.

"No doubt the unions think that all their Christmases have come at once with this unfair piece of legislation. A licensing system for the labour hire industry is unnecessary and the Bill should be abandoned," Mr Willox said.

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347