New licensing scheme impacts all aged care and community service providers
By Kristin Ramsey15 Feb 2018
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New laws regarding using or providing labour hire services will shortly commence. These changes affect all aged care and community service providers.
New Licensing Requirement
From 16 April 2018, all labour hire providers will need to hold a licence in order to lawfully operate.
Labour hire providers
A business is regarded as a “labour hire provider” if, in the course of carrying on a business, the provider suppliers, to another person, a worker to do work.
This definition is very broad and covers a number of different businesses in the aged and community care sector including traditional labour hire businesses (such as agencies supplying nursing staff) and potentially home care businesses or businesses that operate under brokerage arrangements.
The laws provide for some categories of businesses to be expressly excluded by way of regulation and there are proposals before the government for businesses that involve carrying out work in domestic settings (such as many home care businesses) to be specifically excluded from the licencing scheme.
The regulations are in the process of being drafted and as such, it is not yet entirely clear which businesses will need a licence and which will be exempt. We will update clients as soon as the regulations become available and this issue is clarified.
Businesses that fall within the definition of a labour-hire provider, will have until 15 June 2018 to apply for a licence.
To be eligible for a licence, providers will need to:
- satisfy a fit and proper person test (which among other things, requires providing information regarding compliance with workplace, WHS and migration laws);
- provide evidence of financial viability; and
- pay the requisite fee.
Once a licence has been granted, providers will be subject to strict reporting requirements.
Failure to comply with obligations under the new laws (including by operating without a licence or not meeting reporting requirements) can result in substantial penalties being imposed.
We will update clients as soon as further information regarding the application process is available.
Users of labour hire services
From 16 April 2018, providers that use labour hire services (such as engaging nursing or admin staff through agencies) must ensure that the labour-hire provider holds the requisite licence.
Entering into an arrangement with an unlicensed labour hire provider is a breach of the new laws and can result in substantial penalties being imposed.
Need some help?
These changes impact the entire industry, not just labour hire providers. We will provide further updates as more information becomes available.
Please contact Kristin Ramsey – Employment & Workplace Relations Practice Group leader for further information or if you require assistance in this area.