Labour hire licensing deadline looms – Act now!

Labour hire providers only have until the end of October to hold, or have applied for, a licence to continue to operate in Victoria.

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic) (Act) was introduced for the purpose of protecting vulnerable labour hire workers from exploitation. The Act, along with the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 (Vic) (Regulations), requires businesses who supply one or more workers to work in a business owned by another person to have, or have applied for a licence by 29 October 2019.

Who is covered by the Labour Hire Licensing Act?

The Act and Regulations broadly cover businesses outside the traditional concept of labour hire, and extend to businesses that provide an employee to work in and as part of another business or undertaking.

Additionally, the Regulations prescribe certain circumstances where an individual is taken to perform work in and as part of a business or undertaking. This can include where a business supplies workers to work:

  • as a cleaner in a commercial premise;
  • in the horticultural industry, performing certain activities;
  • in a meat manufacturing or processing establishment, performing certain activities; and/or
  • poultry processing establishment, performing certain activities.

Exclusions to the Labour Hire Licensing Act

The Regulations exclude certain individuals from being considered a worker under the Act, including:

  • secondees;
  • providing workers within a group;
  • small body corporate providing a director;
  • public sector employees;
  • students; and
  • vocational placements.

What are the penalties for not having a licence?

If your business is captured by the Act, there are significant penalties for continuing to operate without having applied for or been granted a licence. There are also penalties for organisations that use a labour hire provider who has not applied for or been granted a licence.

How we can help

There appears to be significant uncertainty regarding the breadth of the Act. If you are unsure whether you are required to apply for a labour hire licence, please do not hesitate to contact us.