LAW SUPPORT: Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher.
LAW SUPPORT: Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher. Mike Richards GLA200417SOLAR

Gladstone MP comes out swinging against labour hire

IF IT was up to Glenn Butcher there would be no labour hire companies.

"I believe it's a scourge on the industry, we should be looking at full-time employment in large industry and certainly back off on the labour hire," he said.

However, Mr Butcher said, new laws would stop unscrupulous labour hire operators ripping off vulnerable workers.

"It's not about stopping labour hire but making sure that those people in the labour hire field do the right thing by the workers," he said.

"We heard some terrible stories about what happens to some workers. One week they can be on $35 an hour the next week they can be on $15."

The Member for Gladstone said under the new licensing scheme all labour hire providers in Queensland would need to pass a fit-and-proper person test, comply with workplace laws, including workers' compensation, wages and superannuation, pay a licence fee and report regularly on their operations.

Mr Butcher spoke in support of the new bill in Queensland Parliament on Wednesday.

"There are numerous reports proving that strict regulations are desperately needed in the labour hire sector, including a report earlier this year of a firm that was found to have underpaid their workers $77,000 over nearly two months," he said in Parliament.

Mr Butcher said ideally he would like to see a national labour licensing scheme to end "these abuses".

"But with Malcolm Turnbull missing in action on this issue, Queensland has no choice but to go it alone," he said.

"The only way to put an end to this kind of appalling exploitation is through the introduction of a proper labour hire regulation scheme.

"You need a licence to operate a real estate agency or to be a motor car dealer, so why shouldn't you need a licence to run a labour hire firm?"


The labour hire licensing scheme will begin next year.

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