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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Who is a labour hire provider?
To operate legally in Victoria from 30 October 2019, labour hire providers must have applied for, or have a labour hire licence. Labour hire providers will have six months from 29 April to apply for a licence.
A labour hire provider is a business that has an arrangement with one or more individuals under which the business:
- supplies the individuals to perform work in and as part of a host’s business or undertaking and the provider is obliged to pay the individual for performance of the work
This is the general definition of labour hire services (section 7 of the LHL Act).
- in the course of providing recruitment or placement services, recruits individuals for, or places the individuals with a host who has to pay the individuals to perform work in and as part of the host’s business or undertaking and the provider procures or provides accommodation for the individuals for some or all of the period that they are working with the host
This is an extended definition of labour hire services relating to recruitment and placement services (section 8(1) of the LHL Act).
- in the course of conducting contractor management services recruits the individuals as independent contractors to perform work in and as part of a host’s business or undertaking and manages the contract performance by the independent contractors
This is an extended definition of labour hire services relating to contractor management services (section 8(2) of the LHL Act).
Who is a labour hire worker?
Workers are generally individuals employed and paid by labour hire providers and supplied to host businesses, farms or organisations on a full-time, part-time or casual basis.
In addition, if a person supplied by a labour hire provider is entitled to be paid by a host, that person will be a worker under the LHL Act if the labour hire provider also procures or provides accommodation for the person.
A person who is an independent contractor supplied to a host by a labour hire provider will also be a worker under the LHL Act if the labour hire provider continues to manage the performance of the contract — for example by providing administrative and payroll functions or performance management in relation to the contractor.
Providers that supply only individuals excluded from the definition of worker in the LHL Act and the LHL Regulations, such as certain secondees or students, will not be regarded as labour hire providers and will not be required to be licensed. See our page on excluded classes of workers for further information.
Note: a business need only supply one worker to a host to be a labour hire provider.
Who needs to be licensed
Under the LHL Act, all labour hire providers will need to be licensed.
If you supply a worker or workers to work for another business or person, you could be operating as a labour hire provider. If you are, from the 29 April 2019 you will need to apply for a licence.
If you are unsure whether you are a labour hire provider, you should review the information about the types of labour hire providers above at ‘who is a labour hire provider’, or seek independent legal advice for your particular circumstances.
The transition period
Once the labour hire licensing scheme commences on 29 April 2019, labour hire providers must register online to create an account and then apply for a licence.
Labour hire providers will have six months, or until 29 October 2019 to register online and apply for a licence.
If you do not apply for a licence within the six-month transition period you will be prohibited from providing labour hire services from 30 October 2019.
Unlicensed labour hire providers can face substantial fines, with a maximum penalty for a natural person being more than $120,000 and for a corporation exceeding $500,000.
Hosts who enter into an arrangement after 29 October 2019 with a labour hire provider who has not applied for, or who has been refused a labour hire licence face substantial fines ranging from a maximum in excess of $120,000 for a natural person to in excess of $500,000 for a corporation.
How do I obtain a licence?
From 29 April 2019 providers can apply through the LHLO portal accessed from the home page of this website.
Applications will require a range of information including:
- full name, address and date of birth of the applicant
- if the applicant is a body corporate, the full name, address and date of birth of each officer of the body corporate
- whether the applicant is registered with the Australian Taxation Office and WorkSafe Victoria
- the number of workers supplied by the applicant to hosts during the 12-month period before the date of the application, and any information prescribed by the regulations in relation to those workers or, if the applicant is not yet but intends to conduct a labour hire business, then the number of workers the applicant expects to supply to hosts in the next 12 months
- the industrial instruments that determine (or will determine) the terms and conditions of employment or engagement of those workers
- whether those workers hold (or will hold) temporary work visas, and if so, the number of workers who hold such visas and the types of visas they hold
- the industry or industries in relation to which the applicant is providing labour hire services and intends to provide labour hire services
- whether there is an intention to provide transport or accommodation to the workers
- whether any person relevantly connected to the application has or may have contravened a labour hire industry law, a workplace law or minimum accommodation standards.
You can find a summary of the information that will be required to complete the application form in our guides, which will be available on this website when the scheme commences on 29 April 2019.
Fit and proper person test
The Authority will conduct a 'fit and proper person' assessment for each relevant person included in an application.
A person or a body corporate will not be a fit and proper person under the LHL Act at the time the application is made if they have within the last:
- 10 years been found guilty of an indictable offence against a person, or an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or drug trafficking that was punishable by imprisonment of 3 months or more (or an equivalent offence committed outside Victoria)
- 5 years been found to have contravened a workplace law, labour hire industry law or minimum accommodation standard, or given an enforceable undertaking in respect of a contravention of one of those laws
- 5 years had a licence under a labour hire industry law cancelled, suspended or revoked other than at the licence holder’s initiative
- 5 years, been insolvent or under external administration
- 5 years, where an applicant is a body corporate, an officer of the body corporate was an officer of another body corporate whose licence was cancelled other than at the licence holder’s initiative
- 5 years the applicant was an officer of a body corporate and was disqualified from managing corporations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
If you are uncertain about meeting the fit and proper person test, you should seek legal advice.
Compliance with legal obligations
An applicant will need to declare that, to their knowledge, they comply with:
- taxation laws
- superannuation laws
- occupational health and safety laws
- workers compensation laws
- labour hire industry laws
- workplace laws
- migration laws and
- applicable minimum accommodation standards.
Applicants who are not yet conducting a business that provides labour hire services will be required to declare that they have in place a plan to comply with the above laws and submit this to the Labour Hire Authority on request.
Accommodation and Transport
Applicants will be required to tell the Authority if any relevant person involved in the labour hire business intends to procure or provide accommodation or transport in connection with the labour hire service.
Applicants will also need to declare that:
- if they procure or provide accommodation, that it will comply with minimum accommodation standards; and
- if they procure or provide transport, it will comply with all applicable laws relating to transport.
For more information about your obligations related to accommodation and transport, click the links below:
The specific application and licence fees that will apply are set out in the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 and may change from time to time.
An application fee will need to be paid when you apply for a licence. This fee will not be refunded in the event the application is withdrawn or is unsuccessful.
At the present time, for the purposes of sections 17(6) and 24(1)(d) of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018, the prescribed application fee will be:
- for a tier 1 business—108 fee units
- for a tier 2 business—288 fee units
- for a tier 3 business—532 fee units.
In 2018 – 19 a fee unit is $14.45.
Please visit the Licence costs and fees page for more information.
Monitoring the licensing scheme
The Labour Hire Authority will have a team of inspectors who will promote compliance with, and enforce, the licensing system. Inspectors will have a range of powers to ensure compliance with the scheme and, where there are reasonable grounds, will be authorised to:
- enter and search premises
- examine and seize anything suspected of being connected with a possible contravention
- 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.
Report a problem
The Labour Hire Authority will work in partnership with other State and Commonwealth agencies to protect the rights and entitlements of labour hire workers in Victoria.
A reporting procedure will be available once the labour hire scheme commences. You will be able to contact us if you have a complaint, concerns or information about the mistreatment of workers, unlicensed labour hire providers or a host using workers supplied by an unlicensed labour hire provider.
It is important to note that any entitlements workers have under awards, enterprise agreements, or the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) will continue to be monitored and enforced by the Commonwealth Fair Work Ombudsman.
See our Resources page for full details.