Under changes that came in on 1 March 2021, Queensland workers who have been underpaid can recover what they are owed more easily by lodging a claim in the Industrial Relations Commission.
Claims can be for penalty rates, unlawful or unreasonable deductions from wages and superannuation.
Small claims, of up to $20,000 for workers employed under the Federal Fair Work Act and $50,000 for workers in the Queensland state system, will be dealt with through informal court proceedings.
The first step for workers is to approach an industrial commissioner for conciliation. If the claim cannot be resolved through conciliation the next stage is to proceed to the Industrial Magistrates Court.
Wage theft became a criminal offence in Queensland in 2020 and this system, created to align with this, allows claims to be resolved in a cheaper and easier way with workers not needing to engage lawyers.
Visit qirc.qld.gov.au/long-service-leave-and-wages for more information.
New laws to criminalise deliberate wage theft by an employer against an employee have recently been introduced in Queensland. The new laws also provide a simple, quick and low-cost process for wage recovery claims These changes respond to the findings and recommendations of a 2018 Queensland Parliamentary Committee inquiry into wage theft in Queensland and the inquiry report A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work? Exposing the true cost of wage theft in Queensland. The Committee found that wage theft is widespread, affecting around 437,000 (approximately one in five) Queensland workers each year and costing more than $1 billion every year in unpaid or underpaid wages.
|On 15 July 2020, Hon Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations, introduced the Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill 2020.
The House referred the Bill to the Education, Employment and Small Business Committee for detailed consideration. The committee is required to report by Friday 28 August 2020.
Objective of the Bill
The explanatory notes state that the objectives of the Bill are to implement the underlying policy intent of the recommendations made in the committee’s report titled A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work? Exposing the true cost of wage theft in Queensland, tabled on 16 November 2018. The two recommendations of the report that require legislative amendments are:
The objectives of the Bill are to be achieved by:
Call for submissions
The committee seeks submissions on the Bill from the public and interested stakeholders. The committee would appreciate you passing its call for submissions on to anyone you believe might be interested in the inquiry.
The closing date for submissions is 5:00pm on Thursday 30 July 2020.
An information sheet which provides guidelines on making a submission can be found at: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/committees/guidelines/Guide_MakingASubmission_WebVersion.pdf
Submissions should be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to:
The committee will hold public briefing to hear from the Department of Education (Office of Industrial Relations) on Monday 27 July 2020. The briefing will be broadcast live on Parliament TV.
The Criminal Code and Other Legislation (Wage Theft) Amendment Bill 2020 and Explanatory notes are available at these links and from the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel at www.legislation.qld.gov.au.
The Minister’s statement of compatibility with human rights can be accessed here.
From January 2020, the Queensland Office of State Revenue’s (OSR) compliance program is focusing on contractor payments and employment agent contracts. OSR is encouraging employers to review their payroll details now. You can contact the OSR to make a voluntary disclosure of a tax liability before an investigation, you might avoid penalty tax.
The following contains essential information about employment agent contracts, contractors payments and how to they are treated for payroll tax in Queensland. In the security industry these situations may arise more regularly than people are aware. With the relevant and up to date information SPAAL members will be better equipped to consider and identify if it is necessary to make a voluntary disclosure of a payroll tax shortfall.
Payroll tax where an employment agency contract exists
Where a business enters into an agreement with a client for the provision of workers to provide services in the client’s business, the arrangement may be classified as an employment agency contract for payroll tax purposes.
In these situations, the payments to the service provider are taxable wages and the employment agent is not entitled to claim a contractor exemption or a non-labour deduction.
ABC Pty Ltd is engaged by XYZ Pty Ltd to supply workers with certain skills and experience to work in XYZ’s business.
XYZ gives ABC the worker’s timesheets and payment based on those timesheets. ABC pays a portion of that payment to the workers.
In their payroll tax returns, ABC must include as taxable wages the:
- employee wages for its own staff (i.e. the wages for ABC’s administrative staff)
- entire value paid to the workers supplied to XYZ.
Because an employment agency contract exists, ABC is not entitled to claim a contractor exemption or a non-labour deduction on the amount paid to each worker.
Payroll tax on payments to contractors
Did you know that payments you make to contractors and subcontractors may be liable for payroll tax? Even contractors that you believe don’t meet the ATO’s employee test for tax and superannuation purposes.
Find out more about:
The Payroll Tax Australia website has two videos:
Making a voluntary disclosure early and accurately minimises Unpaid Tax Interest (UTI) on the shortfall, as well as any penalty tax that may apply.
Making a voluntary disclosure is as easy as emailing the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SPAAL is a member of Jobs Queensland’s Security Industry Advisory Group. Jobs Queensland have requested SPAAL to distribute the Employer Survey and Regional Industry Forums EOI to members for feedback.
The Employer Survey aims to let us understand the skills and workforce challenges of Queensland’s Security Industry and will assist us in identifying future opportunities to develop a workforce plan based on Industry priorities.
Link to the Employer Survey:
Deadline: 6th March 2020
The Regional Forum EOI aims to gauge interest in Security Industry members attending forums in key regional areas, Cairns, Townsville, and the Gold Coast. It allows respondents to indicate their interest and preferred date for these forums and, if they are unable to attend on these potential dates, an opportunity for them to register their interest in contributing to the project through another avenue (e.g. the survey or an interview).
Link to the Regional Forum EOI:
Deadline: 5th February 2020
Earlier this year, an independent review of the Queensland Government’s Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence Policy was released.
The review of the policy found ID scanners made Queensland’s entertainment precincts safer. It also found that further refinements could address unintended consequences being experienced by licensees, particularly on quieter weeknights.
Based on these findings and following extensive consultation with licensees and industry representatives, changes to operating hours and re-entry requirements for ID scanners have been introduced.
Under these new liquor laws, licensees who operate a mandatory ID scanner at their venue no longer have to:
- scan patrons on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday nights provided they stop selling liquor by 1am
- scan patrons when they re-enter their venue, provided the venue has a suitable re-entry pass system.
Regulated licensees are still required to scan patrons from 10pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the day before a public holiday, if they are authorised to sell liquor after 12 midnight during that trading period.
Patrons must still be scanned from 10pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights if the licensee continues to sell liquor after 1am.
Licensees also have the option to implement a re-entry pass system. This means patrons do not need to be scanned more than once during the compulsory regulated ID scanning period (i.e. after 10pm) in the same trading period.
There is no obligation for licensees to implement these changes at their venue if they prefer the current system.
Further details about these changes can be found in the Holidays and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 and on our website at www.business.qld.gov.au/liquor-gaming
Reminder - digital driver licences are acceptable ID
With interstate tourists flocking to Queensland for the holiday season, you should expect to see some of your patrons offering interstate digital driver licences as an acceptable form of ID. Digital driver licences are in addition to driver licence photo cards and there are no plans to phase out the cards.
Please check out the information on the Business Queensland website for more details on digital IDs.
Electronic security register guideline
The Commissioner for Liquor and Gaming has released a guideline for the use of an electronic security register (ESR).
In Queensland, it is common practice for licensees to combine a security register and incident register and maintain a single register that contains all the required information. These requirements may now be sufficiently met through the use of an ESR.
Find out more information on the new electronic security register guideline.
The Office of Fair Trading has released the new training requirements from the 21st January 2020.
If you have completed the training from current training package prior to 21 January 2020, The Office of Fair Trading will still accept this training for a period of 12 months from 21 January 2020 until 20 January 2021.
Security (Unarmed) - CPP20218 - Certificate II in Security Operations
From 21 January 2020, your training must include all 14 core modules from the CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations.
Bodyguard - CPP31418 - Certificate III in Close Protection Operations
From 21 January 2020, your training must include all 8 core modules and 6 elective modules from the CPP31418 Certificate III in Close Protection Operations.
Cash-in-Transit - CPP20218 - Certificate II in Security Operations
From 21 January 2020, your training must include all 14 modules from the CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations, plus 3 elective units from CPP31318 Certificate III in Security Operations
Crowd Controller - CPP20218 - Certificate II in Security Operations
From 21 January 2020, your training must include all 14 modules from the CPP20218 Certificate II in Security Operations.
Refresher (Revalidation) Training
Crowd Controllers will still need to complete ongoing training every three years. The Office of Fair Trading will not recognize any prior learning for these units.
The modules for ongoing training for crowd controllers are:
- CPPSEC3101 Manage conflict and security risks through negotiation
- CPPSEC3121 Control persons using empty hand techniques
- HLTAID006 Provide advanced first aid.
NOTE: There will be a significant difference in a crowd controller first aid requirement, now set at “Advanced First Aid”
It’s also a requirement that during the currency of a first aid certificate you have completed a CPR component that is refreshed every 12 months. The CPR module is:
HLTAID001 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The Queensland Government is seeking written feedback and comment regarding the proposed units of competency for each of the security provider licence functions.
Submissions are open until Monday 30 September 2019 and can be emailed to:
Manager, Industry Licencing Unit
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has conducted a review of the training package and units of competency for each licence class under the Security Providers Act 1993.
Draft units of competency to be eligible to obtain a crowd controller, security officer (unarmed), security officer (patrol dog), security officer (cash in transit) and bodyguard licence have been proposed.
Ongoing training will continue to be required for crowd controllers and bodyguards. This ongoing training will be:
- CPPSEC3101 Manage Conflict and security risks through negotiation
- CPPSEC3121 Control persons using empty hand techniques and;
- HLTAID003 Provide First Aid.
What has happened during the review process?
The Commonwealth Department of Education and Training commissioned the Skills Service Organisation Artibus Innovation (Artibus), to review the current security providers training package required to receive a licence in the industry.
Artibus consulted with industry stakeholders, including state and territory regulators, registered training organisations, security industry associations and security licensees to develop the proposed new training package.
The requirements of the review were to consider whether qualifications and units of competency meet industry needs, and to develop components that align with the licencing requirements across jurisdictions.
A draft Security Operations Training Package was produced by Artibus and the Australian Industry Skills Committee approved it on 20 December 2018.
|The final report of the independent evaluation of the Queensland Government’s Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence (TAFV) Policy and the government’s interim response to its recommendations were tabled on 26 July.
The two-year evaluation reported promising reductions in some key measures of alcohol-related harm across Queensland and listed a series of recommendations.
Key recommendations which have been accepted in principle, subject to further consultation include:
Mandatory ID scanning
Safe Night Precincts (SNPs)
Responsible Service of Alcohol
You can read the report and the government's interim response in full at the Queensland Government Publications page.