The Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Scheme commenced 29 April 2019, aimed at making the labour hire system fairer for workers, businesses and providers. Labour hire providers have six months to apply for a licence or else face significant penalties of more than AU$500,000.
The scheme is designed to better protect workers from exploitation and improve the integrity and transparency of the labour hire sector overall. The State Government is implementing the scheme to bring a new level of integrity and scrutiny to the labour hire industry and keep workers safe and free from exploitation.
In announcing the scheme, the Minister for Industrial Relations, Tim Pallas said: “This is about protecting the rights of some of Victoria’s most vital and vulnerable workers. We’re cracking down on dodgy operators who think there’s such a thing as first and second-class workers.”
The independent Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work uncovered widespread abuse, underpayment and exploitation of many workers.
The Authority has held more than 30 information sessions since March to help providers understand their obligations. The sessions involved industries including security, cleaning, vocational training, finance, consulting and IT, healthcare, manufacturing, accommodation, construction and transport.
To obtain a licence, contractors will be required to pass a ‘fit and proper person test’ and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws and minimum accommodation standards. They will also need to report annually on their activities.
Labour Hire Authority Commissioner, Steve Dargavel added: “The focus of the Labour Hire Authority is to ensure that workplace law is not breached in respect of labour hire workers. The Authority is here to help, and we encourage anyone to contact us for information or guidance through the licensing process.”
Further information on the scheme and the application process can be obtained from https://labourhireauthority.vic.gov.au/apply-for-a-labour-hire-licence/.