The Labour Hire Authority (LHA) will be conducting compliance inspections at farms and worker accommodation in Mildura and surrounding areas this citrus season. This work is part of our horticulture compliance campaign aimed at preventing worker exploitation and identifying unlicensed labour hire providers.
What can I expect from LHA inspections?
During our visit, we will speak to growers, workers and labour hire providers. We will be asking growers who their labour hire providers are and how they checked that the provider is licensed (see register of licensed providers). Penalties of up to $581,568 can apply to unlicensed labour hire providers and growers who use unlicensed labour hire providers.
We will also check licensed labour hire providers’ compliance with a broad range of legal obligations. One of our focuses will be ensuring compliance with recent changes to the Horticulture Award 2020 for workers who are paid piece rates.
LHA inspectors will be mindful of causing as little inconvenience to the farm as possible and will seek cooperation from those on site.
Where necessary, inspectors may exercise their powers to enter and search premises at which they believe a labour hire worker is or has been working. Please note that inspectors do not need consent nor a warrant to do this.
What information do I need to make available?
When we visit farms, we may inspect and make copies of records such as invoices and contracts and require any person at the premises to produce a document or answer a question.
Providers are reminded that they must keep all documents relating to their labour hire business available for inspection by our inspectors at each place at which they conduct their business.
Inspections of worker accommodation
Inspectors will also check worker accommodation to ensure compliance with the minimum accommodation standards. We will have a focus on overcrowding, maintenance, cleanliness and safety.
Licensed labour hire providers face cancellation of their licence if they are found in contravention of these standards.