To operate legally in Victoria from 30 October 2019, labour hire businesses must have applied for, or have a labour hire licence following the introduction of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic) (the LHL Act).

The LHL Act imposes obligations not only on the businesses that provide labour hire services, but also on the users of the services (hosts), if they procure labour hire services from an unlicensed business.

If your business provides individuals to host businesses to perform services, you may be considered a labour hire provider.

The LHL Act applies to conventional labour hire providers. However, businesses that frequently perform work at the premises of their clients should carefully assess the criteria to ensure compliance. This is because the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 (Vic) (the Regulations) extend the definition to the following industries even if these businesses do not operate under the traditional labour hire arrangement:

  • commercial cleaning
  • some horticulture activities where there is exercise of minimal judgment under direct supervision such as picking and labelling
  • some meat manufacturing activities such as packing and processing
  • security

Businesses that provide labour hire services will be considered agencies and required to apply for a licence by 30 October 2019.

From 30 October 2019 substantial penalties will apply to labour hire providers who don’t have a licence. Unlicensed agencies may be liable for penalties up to $126,856 for natural persons, or $508,424 for body corporates. Hosts entering into arrangements with an unlicensed agency could be liable for the same.

If you are unsure whether you are a labour hire provider or if you would like any assistance in applying for a licence, please do not hesitate to contact our employment lawyer Rachel Derrico.

Rachel Derrico, Senior Associate