Under the reform, builders, electricians, plumbers, architects, real estate agents, security guards and other workers who hold an occupational licence in their home state or territory, and who want to do the same work in another state or territory, will be automatically deemed to have the necessary licence.
In addition, these workers will also not need to pay any additional fees or apply for additional licences.
In November 2020, the national cabinet endorsed a uniform, national scheme for automatic mutual recognition, and in December 2020, the Prime Minister, state premiers and the Northern Territory chief minister signed an intergovernmental agreement for the federal government to establish the scheme and the states and territories to implement it.
The reform is set to directly benefit over 124,000 workers who currently work across borders and an additional 44,000 who are expected to work across borders following these reforms, in particular workers living in border regions, those who relocate temporarily for work, fly-in fly-out workers, and people who provide services remotely.
The federal government predicts the time and cost savings associated with automatic mutual recognition for these workers are expected to increase GDP by $2.4 billion over 10 years.
“The current mutual recognition regime for licensed occupations across Australia is complex, costly and imposes an excessive regulatory burden on businesses that operate across jurisdictions. Currently, around 20 per cent of workers in the economy are required to be licensed,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
“A uniform scheme means businesses can operate more seamlessly across Australia, which helps to create jobs; increase output, competition and innovation; and lower prices for consumers.”