Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has issued a warning to Queensland’s labour hire operators, following another three successful prosecutions in the Caboolture Magistrates Court this week.
Ms Grace said the latest prosecutions show that unlicensed and unscrupulous operators will be caught and dealt with under the Palaszczuk Government’s labour hire licensing laws.
“This week, our Compliance Unit secured a further three prosecutions for offences under the Labour Hire Licensing Act,” Ms Grace said.
“This should be a warning to all labour hire companies operating in Queensland – if you do the wrong thing, there is nowhere to hide.
“J&Jub Harvest Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $75,000 for operating without a licence under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017.
“Hongsub Ji, the sole Director of J&Jub Harvest Pty Ltd was also convicted and fined $25,000 – with 180 days imprisonment in default of payment – for counselling, procuring or aiding the commission of the offence.
“This is the first time a director has been prosecuted under the Act as a party to the offence, and also the first time a user has been prosecuted.
“The Court also found Kleen Holdings Pty Ltd guilty and fined the company $50,000 for entering into an arrangement with the unlicensed J&Jub Harvest Pty Ltd to provide them workers.
“Workers tipped off our Compliance Unit by making complaints that they were not being paid for their work picking berries.
“J&Jub Harvest Pty Ltd did not apply for a labour hire licence and was warned in writing that it was not permitted to provide labour hire services in Queensland.
“However, they continued to supply workers to Kleen Holdings Pty Ltd to work on a strawberry farm in Beerwah.”
Ms Grace said Queensland’s Labour Hire Licensing laws were lifting the standard of the industry and protecting vulnerable workers from exploitation.
“Since we introduced these new laws 18 months ago, we now have more than 3000 licensed labour hire providers in Queensland getting on with business,” she said.
“Importantly, more than 350 unscrupulous operators have been weeded out of the labour hire industry.
“We have taken strong action to prosecute dodgy operators and protect vulnerable workers. To date, there have been 135 licence applications withdrawn; 18 licence applications refused; 164 licences suspended; 38 licences cancelled; and 14 licences granted with conditions.”