GLAA advises Australian states on protecting workers

Two Australian states have passed laws creating licensing schemes for labour providers in a bid to protect workers’ rights and target unscrupulous employers who exploit their staff.

The move was revealed this morning in a statement from the UK’s Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), who helped consult on the new schemes.

Labour providers in both Queensland and Victoria will now be required to hold a licence, and businesses wishing to use labour hire workers will be required to only use licensed providers.

Licence providers themselves must also pass a “fit and proper person test” and will be listed on a public register.

Newly launched organisations will investigate compliance, and operators breaching the scheme could face civil penalties and criminal prosecutions.

The new regimes will be similar to the GLAA’s licensing scheme, which was introduced following the Morecambe Bay tragedy in 2004, when 23 Chinese cockle pickers drowned due to the actions of a criminal gangmaster.

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