Victorian labour hire laws to start in April
Victoria’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme will come into force on 29 April – with contractors given six months to sign up or else face significant penalties.
Under the Victorian scheme, providers of labour hire services will have to hold a licence and hosts businesses will be required to only use licensed providers. Host employers that use unlicensed providers face fines of up to $500,000.
The scheme is in response to the independent Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work.
To obtain a licence, providers will be required to pass a “fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws and minimum accommodation standards, as well as report annually on their activities.
Legislation establishing the scheme passed last year and also led to the establishment of the Labour Hire Authority, which is now operating from Bendigo. The authority is responsible for the rollout of the scheme and will support its implementation with education, enforcement and compliance activities.
Over the next month, the authority will deliver more than 20 industry sessions across the state to peak bodies and key labour hire operating sectors.
The Labour Hire Authority website includes a number of helpful definitions and exclusions to assist with determining whether a business is a ‘provider’ of labour.
From previous experience with labour hire legislation MEA has found that the vast majority of members are excluded from coverage because they are providing their services for a task/result on a contract basis.
In instances where our members provide workers as part of shift coverage these have also been excluded because they are classed as a ‘secondee’. That is because they primarily performs work directly for the provider, other than as a worker who is supplied to another person to do work for that other person.
If you have any questions on the application of the licencing legislation to your circumstances/arrangements please contact the Workplace Relations Team on 1300 889 198.