Who is a labour hire host?

You’re a host if you both

  • run a business or undertaking, and
  • use labour hire workers to perform work in your business.

Labour hire hosts are people or organisations who run businesses such as plumbers, electricians, IT consultants, factories, farms, meat manufacturing establishments, meat processing establishments, poultry processing establishments, offices, warehouses and commercial stores or premises that use the services of labour hire providers to obtain labour for their enterprise. If you run a business and you use labour hire services to perform work in that business, you are a host.

What are your obligations as a labour hire host?

Hosts must only use:

  • licensed labour hire providers, or
  • providers that applied for a licence before 30 October 2019.

If you use a provider that applied before 30 October 2019 their application must not have been refused.

If a provider who applied before 30 October 2019 is refused a licence, their host businesses will have at least 28 days from the final decision to make arrangements with an alternative labour hire provider.

To find a licensed labour hire provider, check our registers of:

Follow my providers

Sign up to Follow my providers to help you follow the licence or application status of a labour hire provider and receive an email and SMS notification if their licence status changes.

Applications received before 30 June 2020

Labour hire providers that applied before midnight 30 June 2020 can continue to provide labour hire services while their application is pending and there is no evidence of noncompliance.

  • This means that these labour hire providers can continue to operate while their application is being assessed – provided they are otherwise compliant with workplace and other laws.
  • Noncompliant providers that applied between from 30 October 2019 to 30 June 2020 can face substantial penalties for providing labour hire services without a licence.

For more information go to labour hire licence applications received before 30 June 2020.

Offences and penalties

There are significant penalties for breaches of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018.

What will happen if I don’t use a licensed labour hire provider?

You must use a licensed labour hire provider.

Hosts must only use licensed labour hire providers or face penalties exceeding:

  • $150,000 for an individual
  • $600,000 for a corporation.

For more information go to labour hire licence applications received before 30 June 2020.

Avoidance arrangements

Individuals or organisations who seek to enter into arrangements aimed at avoiding or circumventing labour hire licensing obligations that would otherwise be imposed by the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 on the client, supplier or someone else face penalties exceeding:

  • $150,000 for an individual
  • $600,000 for a corporation.

A client must notify the LHA if they become aware or reasonably suspect an avoidance arrangement is in place. Failure to do so will result in penalties exceeding:

  • $38,000 for an individual
  • $150,000 for a corporation.

Providing labour hire services without a licence

Individuals and organisations that provide labour hire services without holding a licence that is in force face penalties exceeding:

  • $150,000 for an individual
  • $600,000 for a corporation.

Advertising labour hire services while unlicensed

Individuals and organisations that advertise labour hire services without holding a licence that is in force or hold themselves out to be a labour hire provider, face penalties exceeding:

  • $38,000 for an individual
  • $150,000 for a corporation.

Other obligations

If your business or organisation uses labour hire workers you still have legal responsibilities under Commonwealth and Victorian laws, including to ensure their safety at the workplace.

What if I think a labour hire provider shouldn’t be granted a licence?

A person or organisation who has an interest in the protection of workers or the integrity of the labour hire industry, such as a host, may make an objection to a licence being issued to an applicant.

If you think a labour hire provider does not or will not comply with their legal obligations, you can object to the issue of their licence.

Objections can be made by going to the Received Labour Hire Application public register and clicking on ‘Raise an objection to this application’ next to the relevant application.

Hosts can be assured that licensed providers have been assessed in relation to their compliance with a range of relevant State and Commonwealth laws and whether they are a fit and proper person to hold a labour hire licence.

However, hosts are reminded that under Victorian occupational health and safety laws, they are responsible for providing and maintaining a safe work environment at their workplace for all workers which includes labour hire workers.  For more information visit WorkSafe Victoria.

Monitoring the licensing scheme

The Labour Hire Authority has a team of inspectors whose role is to promote, monitor, investigate and enforce compliance with the Act and regulations.

Inspectors have a variety of powers to monitor compliance with the scheme including, where there are reasonable grounds, the power to:

  • enter and search premises
  • examine and seize anything suspected of being connected with a possible contravention of the Act or regulations
  • inspect, copy or take extracts from documents on the premises and make images or recordings
  • seek the assistance of other persons
  • where necessary apply to the Magistrates' Court for a search warrant.

Hosts who use labour hire services may be investigated as part of the Authority’s function of monitoring compliance with the licensing scheme, and with written notice, may be required to produce documents.

Report a problem

The Labour Hire Authority works in partnership with other State and Commonwealth agencies to protect the rights and entitlements of labour hire workers in Victoria.

Please visit our report a problem page if you would like to report a problem to the Labour Hire Authority.

Further resources

See our Resources page for full details.

The information on this website is based on the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic.) (the LHL Act) and the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 (Vic.) (the LHL Regulations) and provides broad details of the labour hire licensing scheme.

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