The Migrant Workers’ Taskforce was established as part of the Government’s response to the revelation of significant wage underpayments in certain industry sectors.
The Government has accepted in principle the establishment of a National Labour Hire Registration Scheme for the security industry which was named as one of the four high risk industry sectors. The report’s recommendations include extending criminal penalties for serious breaches of the Fair Work Act.and accessorial liability rules currently in place for franchisors be extended to “also cover situations where businesses contract out services to persons”.
The National Labour Hire Registration Scheme would be an industry-specific, ‘light touch’ regulatory model to provide government with an important tool to better direct the enforcement of current laws by the existing regulators of labour hire operators. It would act as a form of negative licensing to prohibit labour hire businesses that contravene relevant laws from operating. Critically, it would complement other new and existing government measures that address the drivers of workplace exploitation.
The objectives of the Scheme should be to:
- gain visibility and accountability of labour hire operators operating in high-risk sectors
- extend accountability to hosts
- provide a means for government to encourage compliance and behavioural change
- reduce exploitation of vulnerable workers by labour hire operators and in supply chains.