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A safe and compliant harvest for Sunraysia and Mallee growers and labour hire providers

Everyone in the supply chain has a part to play in ensuring the safety of workers and compliance in the horticulture industry.

To help providers and growers in Sunraysia and the Mallee understand their obligations the Authority delivered a webinar in collaboration with WorkSafe, Department of Health and Human Services, Coles, Woolworths and the United Workers Union.

With harvest commencing, this was a timely opportunity to refresh understanding of compliance requirements. This harvest is going to present new challenges, and the guidance presented in the session will help create COVIDSafe workplaces where we can make sure we are doing our best to protect our colleagues, families and the broader community.

30 November 2020

Updated Guidelines for cleaning and disinfection in workplaces

Workplaces need to clean and disinfect surfaces - both steps are essential. The Victorian Government has released updated cleaning and disinfection guidelines including information on:

  • factsheets for workplaces, workforces, supervisors and building owners and managers
  • checklists for engaging and monitoring routine cleaning services
  • checklist for engaging cleaning services for a COVID-deep clean
  • training completion register template
  • cleaning guidelines factsheets for a range of industries.

To help make sure commercial cleaners are aware of the new guidelines, the Authority is collaborating with the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to write to all providers that supply workers in commercial cleaning.

Guidelines and resources for environmental cleaning

The Department of Health and Human Services has also developed guidance materials for environmental cleaning.

30 November 2020

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to a few of the top questions coming through to our enquiries team. If you have a question you can contact the Authority by using the contact us button below.

Updates to casual and overtime clauses in most awards

The Fair Work Commission is updating casual and overtime clauses in 97 awards. Updated clauses have started taking effect from 20 November 2020.

To find out if your award is affected and what you need to do visit Fair Work Ombudsman.

30 November 2020

Last Step - coronavirus roadmap for reopening

Thanks to the efforts of every Victorian, the Victorian Government announced that the state is moving to the Last Step of reopening.

As restrictions ease, it’s important that we act to keep ourselves and others safe. For more information visit:

30 November 2020

Signs, posters and templates for your COVIDSafe workplace

Your workplace can use this free collection of templates, questionnaires, signage and posters to promote a COVIDSafe workplace.

The templates include:

  • record sheet - visitor and patron contact log
  • staff health questionnaire
  • social media tiles to share information to your clients and colleagues

You can also find links to translated information about coronavirus (COVID-19).

30 November 2020

Welcome to the Labour Hire Authority's October e-News 2020

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the Labour Hire Authority has been engaging with the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, WorkSafe, Agricultural Victoria, and many other agencies to help provide support and guidance for vulnerable workers and businesses.

The Authority also continues to undertake licensing, education, compliance and enforcement activities during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the exploitation of workers and ensure fairness among labour hire providers. Over 120 providers have already lodged their annual reporting information and we are continuing to monitor compliance and requesting further information where required. We have also assessed over 3800 licence applications and cancelled 23 licences which can be viewed on the public register.

The Authority has also continued working with Victorian, interstate and Commonwealth agencies to monitor, identify and share information about noncompliance. This information helps the Authority use its compliance and enforcement powers efficiently and appropriately.

30 October 2020

Annual reporting guide and checklist

To help licensed providers collect the information and supporting documents needed to complete their annual reporting, the Authority has published an annual reporting guide and checklist.

For most providers annual reporting is short and simple. In developing the annual reporting process, the Authority considered feedback from the labour hire licence application process and made annual reporting more straightforward and easier to use.

30 October 2020

Changing business tiers

Business tiers are set at labour hire licence application and can only be changed at licence renewal.

The Authority recognises the impact of coronavirus on labour hire hosts, providers and workers and the broader industry. While some providers are experiencing an increased demand for labour hire workers and an increased supply of workers looking for work, this has been a difficult time for providers who have lost business. We understand that some providers are frustrated by not being able to change their business tier.

There are currently no provisions in the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 or the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 that allow the Authority to adjust the business tier or fees set by the legislation and regulations.

Learn more about licence fees

30 October 2020

New seasonal worker horticulture directions and obligations for providers

Both farm businesses and labour hire providers have responsibilities for managing seasonal workers in horticulture. These are designed to protect regional communities and the businesses that operate in those communities.

New directions mean there are now some additional requirements for farm businesses and labour hire providers to help manage risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

To help keep providers informed of the new directions, the Authority has written to relevant people and nominated officers for providers that have stated they supply workers to horticulture and agriculture.

Essential resources and guidance

30 October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Reopening safely

The Victorian Government announced that from 11:59pm Tuesday 27 October 2020 some restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are easing. Providers and hosts can use the helpful resources from government to meet their obligations and keep their colleagues and communities safe.

30 October 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for your industry

The Authority has worked with a number of Victorian Government agencies to support industry specific information during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We are currently working with WorkSafe Victoria to provide up-to-date, labour hire specific information for providers and hosts.

Visit WorkSafe to find both industry specific COVID-19 information and guidance for all industries.

COVID-19 information for your industry

30 September 2020

Business Resilience Package

The Victorian Government has developed an Business Resilience Package to support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and recently announced a third round of the Business Support Fund.

Businesses across the state dealing with significant challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic can access information by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 or visiting their website.

Business Resilience Package

30 September 2020

COVID-19 cases in the workplace

The Department of Health and Human Services has advice for businesses on what to do if any of your employees show symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive.

Use these instructions and tools to create clear policies and procedures for your business so you can keep your business, workers and customers safe by controlling possible outbreaks.

You should also be aware that employers must notify WorkSafe about a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 in the workplace.

30 September 2020

Translated COVID-19 resources

The COVID-19 roadmap for reopening is now available in multiple languages for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

The Department of Health and Human Services translated resources page also provides fact sheets and materials with the most up-to-date information and advice.

These resources can be downloaded, distributed digitally, displayed at worksites and, where appropriate, displayed in accommodation and on transportation provided by employers.

30 September 2020

Updated obligations under Stage 3 and 4 Restrictions

The Authority has written to all licensed labour hire providers and applicants on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) about their updated obligations under Stage 3 and 4 restrictions. Providers were also advised of updated coronavirus (COVID-19) resources and specific guidance from DHHS, Business Victoria and WorkSafe Victoria.

The Authority appreciates that the COVID-19 emergency creates significant challenges for the labour hire industry. The new directions of the Chief Health Officer will have a significant impact on labour hire providers and host businesses and are essential to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If we all do this, we can protect our loved ones, friends, colleagues, health care workers and the community.

31 August 2020

Providers, don't forget to check your LHLO account

The Authority regularly contacts licensed labour hire providers and applicants through their secure LHLO (Labour Hire Licensing Online) accounts

Providers should check their accounts for messages from the Authority following SMS or email notifications.

LHLO account messages from the Authority may include:

  • requests for further information to progress licence applications
  • application decisions and licence conditions.
31 August 2020

Frequently asked questions August 2020

What happens after an application is lodged?

Once your application is received by the Authority, we check that the application has been fully completed and all supporting documents have been provided. Once all the information is received, your application will be assessed by the Authority’s Licensing Officers. The information you provide may also be checked by our compliance and enforcement officers, and we also work with Victorian, Commonwealth and interstate agencies.

When your application has been assessed and a decision has been made, we will contact you to let you know the outcome to grant or refuse your application.

What if my application is missing information?

If your application is incomplete, the Authority will ask you to provide any missing information and documents. If we require additional information, we will contact you for further information through the LHLO portal. Applications that do not include all required information may be refused.

How long does it take?

We aim to assess complete applications within 30 days of lodgement. However, please note that some applications may take longer to assess depending on a range of factors.

You can visit our website for more information about applying for a labour hire licence.

31 August 2020

COVID-19 restrictions and COVIDSafe Plans

Stage 4 restrictions are in place for metropolitan Melbourne and stage 3 restrictions are in place for regional Victoria and Mitchell Shire. 

Businesses under Stage 4 restrictions can only operate for on-site operations if they are a Permitted Work Premises and have COVIDSafe Plans for each worksite.

Regional Victoria is in Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and a COVIDSafe Plan is advised for work premises.

A COVIDSafe Plan helps protect staff, customers and visitors. It also helps businesses prepare for a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace. To help you prepare or update your COVIDSafe Plans go to Business Victoria.

For more information

31 August 2020

Permitted Worker Scheme

In metropolitan Melbourne, employers who require their staff to attend a worksite must issue a permitted worker permit to their employees under the Permitted Worker Scheme. This is the responsibility of the employer. Guidelines and the permit template are available from DHHS.

The permitted workers list was updated on 21 August 2020. Visit Department of Health and Human Services for the updated information.

31 August 2020

Translated COVID-19 resources

To help communicate important health information in languages other than English, you can use the translated resources from DHHS website.

These resources can be downloaded, distributed digitally, displayed at worksites and, where appropriate, displayed in accommodation and on transportation provided by employers.

Welcome to the Labour Hire Authority's July e-News

The Labour Hire Authority continues to undertake licensing, education, compliance and enforcement activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Authority has finalised over 3,300 labour hire licence applications. Over half the total applications received were either incomplete or had incorrect information which has required the Authority to request further information from applicants or verify information with other Victorian, Commonwealth and interstate agencies. The Authority has requested further information to be able to assess complete applications rather than simply refusing labour hire licence applications.

Our team has sent over 2,800 written requests for information and has made thousands of phone calls to applicants.

The remaining applications that are being assessed were lodged more recently or they have minor or significant issues. Minor issues, for example, include: 

  • Applicants were asked to provide further information for completeness. 
  • Applicants sought to reopen, change and resubmit their applications as a company not an individual or to update the nominated officer to a person responsible for the actual day to day running of the business.

There are also a large number of applications that have significant issues such as applicants:

  • not responding to requests for missing or further information.
  • were asked for further information about how they are paying their workers and through which enterprise agreements, awards or other industrial instruments.
  • were identified as potentially involved in sham contracting.
  • are under review following an applicant’s fit and proper person test – for example there may be a history of breaching criminal or workplace laws.
  • are identified in intelligence or information the Authority has received about non-compliance. 
31 July 2020

Employers must notify WorkSafe of COVID-19 cases

Employers are now required to notify WorkSafe immediately when they become aware a worker has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis.

The new Regulations, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and require employers and self-employed persons, with management or control of a workplace to notify WorkSafe immediately after becoming aware that:

  • an employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus (COVID-19) and;
  • the employee, independent contractor, employee of the independent contractor or self-employed person has attended the workplace within the relevant infection period.

For information and how to report a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis visit WorkSafe Victoria.

31 July 2020

Face coverings in workplaces

As you are aware, people living in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire must wear a face covering when leaving their home, unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so. From 11:59 pm on Sunday 2 August this applies to all Victorians - including across regional Victoria. Employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that workers wear a face covering at all times when working in their business.

Use the resources from WorkSafe Victoria and DHHS to help prevent and manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and to understand your legal obligations. 

Even with face masks we must continue to practice good hygiene, wash our hands thoroughly and keep 1.5 metres distance between each other.

31 July 2020

Translated COVID-19 resources for workers

To help communicate important health information in languages other than English, visit the translated resources page on the DHHS website.

These resources can be downloaded, distributed digitally, displayed at worksites and, where appropriate, displayed in accommodation and on transportation provided by employers.

31 July 2020

Support payments for Victorian workers who are self-isolating or quarantining

The Victorian Government is providing one-off payments to financially support Victorian workers, including parents and guardians, who are required to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.

Visit DHHS for further information.

31 July 2020

Workplace manslaughter laws

A new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter has been introduced into occupational health and safety laws. The new offence of workplace manslaughter will be investigated by Victoria's health and safety regulator, WorkSafe Victoria, using their powers under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

It is every employer’s responsibility to make sure their employees stay safe at work and return home every day. If you are already complying with your OHS duties, you are doing the right thing and you will not need to do anything different. If you are not complying, the consequences for not thinking about workplace risk can be much more severe.

31 July 2020

Managing the risk of COVID-19 exposure in agriculture

The Authority has worked with WorkSafe Victoria on resources for managing COVID-19 exposure risks in the agriculture industry and while travelling in vehicles.

Employers are encouraged to use the industry-specific resources from WorkSafe Victoria and DHHS to help prevent and manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Resources are available for many industries including meat and poultry, construction, aged care, healthcare and social assistance, and for workers at home and in offices.

Safe Work Australia has also published industry-specific advice on how to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in workplaces.

31 July 2020

COVID-19 and your OHS responsibilities

The Authority continues to warn labour hire providers and hosts that during this pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure the occupational health and safety of their workers.

Compliance with existing workplace laws including the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 is a requirement for a labour hire licence. Providers and hosts are encouraged to use the COVID-19 resources from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), WorkSafe Victoria and Safe Work Australia

To help businesses prevent infection in the workplace, plan for and respond to COVID-19 and support contact tracing with record keeping the DHHS has a prepared a range of resources.

30 June 2020

Translated COVID-19 resources for workers

To help communicate vital health information to workers in other languages, employers can visit the DHHS website, download translated resources, distribute them digitally and display them at worksites. Where appropriate the resources can also be displayed in employer provided accommodation and on employer provided transportation.

The translated resources include:

  • Slowing the spread of coronavirus and Get tested if you have these symptoms posters
  • Wash your hands regularly, Cover your cough and sneeze, and 3 ways to stay safe posters
  • Looking after your mental health during COVID-19 pandemic
  • translated and English updates.

Translated resources

30 June 2020

Fair Work Commission: Changes to awards in 2020

The Fair Work Commission has been reviewing all modern awards and the new awards are taking effect throughout this year. To find out if your award has already been updated visit Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

If your award hasn't been updated yet, sign up to FWO alert service to hear about changes to your specific awards.

30 June 2020

Fair Work Commission: 1.75% increase to minimum wages

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. This will apply to all award wages. 

To find out when a specific award will increase you can visit the FWO website.

30 June 2020

Agriculture Workforce Plan: finding work and workers

As a part of the Victorian Government’s Working for Victoria fund, the $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan has been set up to help agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain business in rural, regional and outer metropolitan Victoria with:

  • recruitment
  • case management
  • financial support for worker relocation and transport 
  • worker induction and retraining 
  • business adaptation.

Businesses across the state can register their needs on the platform and access a talent pool of jobseekers.

30 June 2020

Welcome to the Labour Hire Authority's June e-News 2020

The Labour Hire Authority is directly contacting Nominated Officers to help providers understand their ongoing legal obligations around pay and awards.

Awards are legal documents that outline the minimum pay rates and conditions of employment. There are more than 100 industry or occupation awards that cover most people who work in Australia.

Employers should be aware that:

  • The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced an increase to minimum wages and that this applies to all award wages.
  • FWC has been reviewing all modern awards and the new awards are taking effect throughout this year.​
  • In addition to very likely being covered by an award, all workers are also entitled to the National Employment Standards.

The Authority is also continuing to undertake compliance, enforcement and licensing activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our licensing and compliance and enforcement officers have requested further information from labour hire providers and are conducting a number of enquiries. The Authority has also assessed and granted over 3,100 licences across all industries and continues to assist businesses to submit complete applications for assessment.

30 June 2020

Welcome to the Labour Hire Authority's May e-News 2020

The Labour Hire Authority continues to undertake compliance and enforcement activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article also discusses an information campaign for labour hire workers and provider and host compliance with existing laws.

Fees rates for 2020-21

For financial year 2020-21, all labour hire licence fees will remain unchanged. This includes:

  • annual licence fee – the licence fee that is paid when a licence is granted and at the start of each 12 month period after the granting
  • application fee – the fee to apply for a labour hire licence

Normally, each year as a result of indexation under the Monetary Units Act 2004 government fees and penalties increase, including labour hire licence fees and penalties. The Victorian Government has announced a freeze on all fees and fines that were due to increase on 1 July 2020.

29 May 2020

Frequently asked questions May 2020

Here are answers to a few of the top questions coming through to our enquiries team. If you have a question you can contact the Authority by using the contact us button at the bottom of this email.

Managing and preventing exposure to COVID-19

The Victorian Government has announced the gradual easing of restrictions throughout the state, subject to the continued and effective management of the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that are reopening or planning their reopening can refer to health and safety guidance from WorkSafe Victoria and Safe Work Australia to help manage health and safety risks related to COVID-19.

This includes information on physical distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, undertaking risk assessments and designing emergency plans.

29 May 2020

COVID-19 and Australian workplace laws

If your workplace is impacted by COVID-19, you can visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for further information about your workplace obligations and rights, including information about:

  • stand downs and reducing hours
  • changing the location of work, including working from home
  • pay and leave entitlements, including if someone is sick with COVID-19
  • entitlements if an employee is stuck overseas or is required to be quarantined or self-isolate
  • ending employment and redundancy entitlements.
29 May 2020

Finding providers by industry

To support hosts, providers and workers during the coronavirus pandemic, the Authority has also published details of licensed labour hire providers and applicants including the industries to which they nominated supplying workers. This will particularly help hosts who need labour hire services in industries such as healthcare, commercial cleaning, transportation and warehousing, horticulture, and meat and poultry processing.

The lists reflect the information provided by the applicants and licensed providers at the time of their application. In the future, the Authority aims to build this information into the provider registers.

30 April 2020

Frequently asked questions April 2020

Here are answers to a few of the top questions coming through to our enquiries team. If you have a question you can contact the Authority by using the contact us button below.

Preparing for a pandemic: a guide for employers

WorkSafe Victoria has published an informative guide for employers on managing the occupational health and safety risks associated with an infectious disease pandemic.

For more information on how employers can use occupational health and safety (OHS) practice to plan for a pandemic view the guide.

30 April 2020

Labour hire licence applications received before 30 June 2020

The Labour Hire Authority recognises that these are unprecedented times. The coronavirus situation is affecting labour hire hosts, providers and workers and has resulted in changes to the labour hire industry. Some labour providers have lost business, other providers are experiencing an increased demand for labour hire workers and an increased supply of workers looking for work, and new providers are seeking to supply workers to various industries during this pandemic.

It is for this reason the Authority will not take enforcement action against a provider for providing labour hire services without a licence, or a host who enters into an arrangement with that provider, where a complete application is submitted to the Authority before midnight 30 June 2020 and there is no evidence of non-compliance.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your responsibilities

The Authority acknowledges that these are unprecedented circumstances. As Victoria’s labour hire industry regulator, our actions continue to focus on the administration and enforcement of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic) and Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 (Vic).

Case study: Reviewing a licensed provider

The Authority will conduct compliance monitoring of licensed labour hire providers.

The Authority examined a provider’s compliance with their legal obligations and found the provider was not complying with the relevant award and was underpaying workers.

Since identifying the noncompliance, the provider has proactively cooperated with the Authority to ensure that it complies with its obligations.

Can I speak to you in my language?

If English is not your first language, you can speak to us in your language by calling the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

Tell the operator the language you speak and ask the operator to telephone the Labour Hire Authority on 1300 545 200.

28 February 2020

Top tip: Check the LHLO portal for requests for information

The Authority has requested further information from a number of applicants.

If the Authority requires additional information, we will contact you through the LHLO portal.

28 February 2020

Do not use, copy or republish the Authority’s logo

A small number of labour hire providers have used the Labour Hire Authority’s logo on their websites or similar, without approval from the Authority.

You must not copy or re-publish the Authority’s logo. If you have copied or re-published the Authority’s logo it must be immediately removed.

28 January 2020

Victorian Bushfires

The Labour Hire Authority thanks all those people fearlessly defending Victoria and supporting the continuing fire response and recovery.