Ethical standards set to deliver better Queensland jobs

The Palaszczuk Government has bolstered it’s commitment to workers, with tougher guidelines under the Buy Queensland Procurement Policy, to ensure companies meet Queenslanders expectations when supplying to Government.

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the Buy Queensland Ethical Supplier Threshold, and the Ethical Supplier Mandate will now go the extra mile to ensure Queensland companies do the right thing.

“This will see companies not having to compete with others that cut corners on jobs, apprentices, training, safety or other commitments, including those to support disadvantaged Queenslanders into work,” Mr Healy said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Buy Qld policy sets a high expectation when it comes to investing Queensland taxpayer dollars – to create and maintain decent, secure local jobs and grow local businesses,” he said.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said whether it’s training apprentices or paying super, the new guidelines set sturdy standards for suppliers to follow when they do business with the government.

“Failing to pay award and penalty rates, engaging in sham contracting or dodgy labour hire, or wilfully ignoring other legal requirements is wage theft and something we are determined to put an end to,” Ms Lui said.

Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni said Queensland employers are happy to pay a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, so they shouldn't have to compete in a race to the bottom.

“The public reaction to the recent high-profile rip offs in the hospitality sector show the community expects that all companies meet these basic conditions - even more so if they are supplying to government,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Breaches of the threshold also include employees pretending to be independent contractors, and having unpaid interns when they should be paid employees,” he said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is not only protecting workers, but creating a level playing field for Queensland suppliers by ensuring they are not exposed to undercutting and unjust competition.”

“Queensland suppliers, industry representatives and unions have been very supportive of a rigorous framework that simply requires every company to meet basic standards.”

Mr de Brenni said the government was responding to a Parliamentary wage theft report by strengthening the Buy Queensland approach with an Ethical Supplier Threshold.

From 1 August 2019, companies that fail to meet the Threshold are automatically excluded from tendering for Queensland Government contracts.

Suppliers who fail to meet the criteria will accrue demerit points on a sliding scale from 2-10 for minor, moderate or major performance issues.

A 12-month suspension from doing business with the government may apply to those who accumulate 20 or more demerit points within a 12-month period, or who contravene the Ethical Supplier Threshold.

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