Latest update:  Victoria to regulate labour hire industry

5th July 2018

The Victorian Government has introduced new laws to address the exploitation of labour hire by, introducing a licensing scheme to regulate the industry. 

The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 seeks to protect labour hire workers from being underpaid and exploited by labour hire businesses and hosts who use labour hire workers.

For more information about this, visit the Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Scheme.

Consultation: A labour hire licensing scheme for Victoria

On 10 September 2017, the Victorian Government announced its intention to introduce legislation establishing a labour hire licensing scheme.

Key features of the proposed licensing scheme include:

  • Providers of labour hire services in Victoria will be required to be licensed – they will need to declare and demonstrate that the business and its key personnel are fit and proper persons and are compliant with workplace laws, labour hire industry laws and minimum accommodation standards.
  • Users of labour hire services will be required to use only licensed providers. 
  • Substantial civil financial penalties will apply to providers operating without a licence, and to hosts engaging an unlicensed provider, amongst other things.
  • The licensing scheme will be administered by a Commissioner for Labour Hire Licensing, as head of an independent Labour Hire Licensing Authority. The Commissioner and the Authority will be responsible for licensing decisions, maintaining a register of licensees, investigations, compliance, education and development of a voluntary code for labour hire operators.
  • An inspectorate within the Authority will have broad powers to investigate non-compliance with the licensing scheme.
  • Interested persons will be able to object to licence applications and request reviews into some licensing decision.

The labour hire industry is a significant employer of Victorian workers and a major contributor to the Victorian economy. There are various legitimate and sound commercial reasons for Victorian businesses to utilise labour hire arrangements. Labour hire enables a flexible approach to the engagement of labour which assists businesses deal with peaks and troughs in demand. Notwithstanding this, there is a significant problem with 'invisible' labour hire agencies and arrangements, operating almost entirely outside existing regulatory frameworks.

The licensing scheme is expected to improve transparency of the labour hire industry, improve compliance with workplace and other laws and protect vulnerable employees from exploitative behaviour.

Consultation paper on the scope of the Victoria's licensing scheme

Victoria's labour hire licensing scheme will apply to all providers of labour hire services in Victoria.

However, it is important to ensure that the scheme does not capture arrangements for supply of workers to a third party which would not be commonly understood as labour hire arrangements. Accordingly, the legislation or regulations may limit its application, or carve out certain types of arrangements from the operation of the scheme.

Your views are sought on several proposed limitations on the scheme's application, or exemptions from the scheme's requirements.

The attached Consultation Paper provides more information, as well as examples of possible exclusions.


How to submit a comment

Submissions are now closed for comments.

Victoria calls for national labour hire licensing scheme

The Victorian Government  has urged the Federal Government to develop a national scheme to license labour hire operators, in consultation with the states, in a submission to the Commonwealth Black Economy Taskforce.

Download the Victorian Government's submission

Page last updated: 4 October 2018