The Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic) (the Act) requires labour hire providers to apply for a licence to operate in Victoria by no later than 29 October 2019.

If a labour hire provider fails to apply for a licence before the deadline, it will be unable to lawfully provide labour hire services and may also be subjected to significant fines. A business which obtains the services from an unlicensed provider may also be subject to significant fines.

However, host companies may use an unlicensed provider so long as the provider is on the Labour Hire Licensing Authority website as having applied for a licence and the application has not been refused.

Application requirements

In order to obtain a labour hire license, the labour hire provider will be required to:

  • provide extensive information and documentation regarding the business’ operations and employees (if any);
  • demonstrate compliance with superannuation, taxation, occupational health and safety, workers’ compensation, workplace and migration laws;
  • have its directors (or if an individual, the applicant) pass a fit and proper person assessment; and
  • pay an application fee, which will depend on the turnover of the business.

Industries that are affected

The industries that will be covered by the new licencing requirements include:

  • cleaning activities;
  • horticulture activities in relation to fruit or vegetables;
  • meat manufacturing or processing; and
  • poultry processing

It should be noted that this is not a conclusive list and businesses which operate outside of the above mentioned industries may also be considered a labour hire provider under the Act.

Powers of the Authority

In addition to the above requirements, the Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Authority has powers to employ Inspectors that will enforce the licensing system. Their powers are far-reaching, and include:

  • entering and searching premises;
  • examining and seizing anything suspected of being in connection with a possible contravention;
  • inspecting, copying or taking extracts from documents; and
  • photographing or recording premises.