Victoria to regulate labour hire industry

Published: 13 December 2017

The Victorian Government is introducing new laws to help crack down on the exploitation of labour hire workers.

The Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 seeks to protect labour hire workers from being underpaid and exploited by labour hire businesses and hosts who use labour hire workers.

The Bill establishes a licensing scheme for Victorian labour hire service providers. It is expected to improve the transparency and integrity of the labour hire industry by creating a level playing field in which legitimate businesses can supply labour without having to cut conditions to compete with dodgy operators.

Key features include:

  • applies to labour hire providers across Victoria in all industries
  • run by an independent Labour Hire Licensing Authority
  • labour hire service providers will be required to hold a licence
  • users of labour hire services will be required to use only licensed providers
  • providers will be required to submit information about their business and key personnel and demonstrate compliance with a fit and proper person test, workplace laws, labour hire laws, and minimum accommodation standards, to obtain a license
  • objections to licence applications may be made by interested persons
  • licensed providers will be listed on a publicly accessible register
  • the Authority will monitor and investigate compliance with the scheme
  • contraventions, such as operating without a licence, using an unlicensed provider and entering avoidance arrangements will attract severe financial penalties; and
  • providing false or misleading information or failing to comply with a requirement of an inspector will be treated as criminal offences.

The proposed legislation is also expected to improve compliance with occupational health and safety, taxation and workplace laws and the regulation of accommodation standards.

The introduction of the Bill follows the findings of the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work in 2016.

The Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 is available on the the legislation.vic.gov.au website.