So what is happening with Labour Hire Licensing?
As our readers will be aware, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (LHL Act) commenced as law on 1 March 2018, shortly before the State election. Our earlier analysis of the LHL Act—including a discussion of some of the peculiar issues which it presents specifically for local government—is available here.
The LHL Act includes a 6-month ‘grace period’, meaning that the requirement to be licensed under the new regime did not commence until 1 September 2018.
And here we are after 1 September 2018. Thus, on the terms of the LHL Act, any organisation which provides ‘labour hire services’ must be licensed or else is in breach of the law.
However, the new State Government is not enforcing the LHL Act. In fact, it is no longer accepting any licence applications. This is because the State Government has formed the view that it will repeal the LHL Act.
Legislation can only be repealed by legislation. Accordingly, new legislation will be needed to repeal the LHL Act. At the time of writing, this repeal legislation has not yet been tabled in Parliament.
There is no guarantee that such legislation will pass through Parliament. Exactly how a failure to repeal the LHL Act would affect the current administrative ‘moratorium’ on accepting licence applications (and the fact that many organisations—including possibly your council—are, strictly speaking, currently in breach of the LHL Act) remains to be seen.
However, if the LHL Act is successfully repealed, then the issues raised in our earlier article can be ignored. The State Government has also indicated that it will refund any application fees already paid.
We will keep a close eye on all developments in respect of the LHL Act. For more specific information on any of the material contained in this article please contact Sathish Dasan on +61 8 8210 1253 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chris Alexandrides on +61 8 8210 1299 or email@example.com.