Do you provide, or engage with people who provide, labour hire services in Queensland? If so, you should understand your obligations under the new mandatory labour hire licensing scheme.


The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (Qld) (‘LHL Act’) introduced a licensing system for labour hire providers in Queensland on 16 April 2018.

Key points of the LHL Act include that:

  • a person who provides ‘labour hire services’ in Queensland must now have a licence to do so, which must be renewed annually.
  • persons who engage labour hire providers must only engage licensed providers.
  • labour hire providers must satisfy a ‘fit and proper person’ test and report on their activities bi-annually.
  • labour hire businesses must be financially viable and meet other obligations (i.e. taxation, superannuation, WorkCover, etc.).
  • there are significant penalties for a breach of the obligations.

Existing labour hire providers have until 15 June 2018 to apply for a licence, allowing them to continue to operate while their application is being assessed.  From 16 June 2018, any new labour hire business must have a licence before it commences operation.

What is a labour hire service provider?

‘Labour hire services’ is broadly defined to mean supplying a worker to another person to do work.

Examples of labour hire service providers include contractors who supply workers to a farmer to pick produce, certain group training organisations that supply apprentices or trainees to employers, or employment agencies who on-hire temporary administration staff to a business.

The following classes of individuals are not considered to be ‘workers’ within the meaning of the LHL Act:

  • genuine secondments;
  • workplace consulting;
  • high income workers (currently defined in the Fair Work Act 2009 as an employee currently earning $142,000 per annum (indexed 1 July annually) and is not covered by a state award, modern award or an enterprise agreement);
  • workers who are also the director, partner or owner of the business supplying to themselves;
  • in-house employees who are temporarily supplied to another person; and
  • employees working for an employing entity used wholly within a recognisable business. That is, an individual who a provider supplies to another person to do work where the provider and the other person are each part of an entity or group of entities that carry on business collectively as one recognisable business.

What does a labour hire licence cost?

The labour hire licence fee is determined by the wages paid by the business as follows:



Licence fee

Tier 1 business

wages of less than $1.5 million


Tier 2 business

wages of more than $1.5 million but less than $5 million


Tier 3 business

wages of more than $5 million



For existing labour hire providers, the applicable tier is determined by the wages paid by the business in the financial year before the relevant application. For new labour hire businesses, it is determined by the projected wages for the coming financial year.

Need further information?

Please contact our team at HR Law on (07) 3211 3350 or via our online form under ‘contact us’.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter.  Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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