Victoria’s Labour Hire Licensing Scheme will come into effect next month.

The State Government announced last week the scheme, part of its response to the Victorian Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work Inquiry conducted in 2016, would begin on 29 April 2019.

Once the scheme commences, providers will have six months (until 29 October 2019) to lodge an application for a licence.

The scheme applies broadly, including organisations supplying workers to work in the cleaning, meat processing and horticulture industries, even if they do not technically supply labour hire workers (see Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 and Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018).

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. They will also be required to report annually on their activities.

After 30 October 2019, hosts of labour hire workers will only be allowed to use licensed providers. Host employers that use unlicensed providers will face fines of up to $500,000.

The Victoria Labour Hire Authority will be conducting information sessions for providers and hosts on the new the scheme. Details about the sessions can be found here.

It comes after the Federal Government last week announced it would create a National Labour Hire Registration Scheme as part of adopting in full 22 recommendations from the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce final report.

AMMA has strongly voiced its opposition to indiscriminate labour hire licensing schemes, such as those introduced by the Queensland, Victorian and South Australian Governments, and proposed nationally by the ALP Federal Opposition.

A key basis for AMMA’s position is that exploitation of labour hire employees had only been identified in a limited number of sectors, and not the resources and energy industry where labour hire is a valuable, responsible and commercially necessary employment model.

While AMMA does not support the introduction of any National Labour Hire Registration Scheme, the model proposed by the Taskforce is more appropriately targeted to those industries where concerns about labour hire practices have been identified.

It is also critical that whichever party forms government following the 2019 Federal Election, its preferred national labour hire licensing or registration scheme seek to replace those already in place or proposed for various states and territories.

For more information or a discussion about labour hire licensing, contact [email protected]