Worker

Important information

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

To receive updates please subscribe to the Labour Hire Licensing Authority e-newsletter.

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 paid by a host, that person will still be a worker under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 if the 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 Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 if the 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 who supply only individuals who fall outside the definition of worker in the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 and the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 will not be regarded as labour hire providers and will not be required to be licensed.  The Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 prescribe a number of classes of individuals as not being workers. These include:

  • certain secondees
  • certain persons in circumstances where both the individual and the provider are part of an entity or group of entities
  • an individual supplied to a host who is a director of a body corporate with no more than two directors, and who participates in the management of the body corporate or shares in its profits
  • students to whom Division 1 or 2 of Part 5.4 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 applies
  • people undertaking work or services under a vocational placement within the meaning of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

How does the labour hire licensing scheme affect workers?

The scheme aims to protect labour hire workers from exploitation by seeking to ensure that only licensed labour hire providers operate in Victoria.

The scheme will commence in Victoria later this year.  Once the scheme begins, labour hire providers will have six months to apply to the Labour Hire Authority for a licence to operate.

Labour hire workers will be able to have confidence that licensed labour hire providers have demonstrated appropriate compliance with workplace, taxation and occupational health and safety laws.

Host businesses, farms or organisations will be prohibited from using unlicensed labour hire providers.

Once the scheme commences, workers who are entering into an arrangement with a labour hire provider are advised to check if the provider is licensed.  The Labour Hire Authority will keep a Register of Licensed Labour Hire Providers which will be available once the scheme commences.  Workers will also be able to check a separate online list of ‘Applications received’ to check whether a provider has applied for a licence.  Workers will fall into the category of ‘interested persons’ who can make an objection to a licence being issued to an applicant.

Monitoring the licensing scheme

The Labour Hire Authority will have a team of inspectors who will have a range of powers to promote compliance with, and enforce, the licensing system.

Operators who are found to be unlicensed will incur significant financial penalties, with a maximum penalty for corporations exceeding $500,000.

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.

Further resources

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

The AHRC is a national human rights institution.
Telephone: 1300 656 419

Australian Tax Office

For information on taxation and superannuation.
Telephone: 13 28 61

Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs

Provides information for individuals and travellers about visas and conditions relating to working in Australia.
Telephone: 131 881

Consumer Affairs Victoria

Consumer Affairs Victoria provides information and advice on housing and accommodation.
Telephone: 1300 55 81 81

Fair Work Ombudsman

Provides information on rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws and investigates and ensures compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009.
Telephone: 13 13 94

Harvest Trail

Links job seekers with harvest jobs Australia wide.
Telephone: 1800 062 332 (National Harvest Information Service)

Jobs Victoria

Jobs Victoria helps to connect jobseekers and employers. This includes through the placement of more than 6,000 Victorians with barriers to employment into sustainable work.
Telephone: 1300 208 575

Municipal Association of Victoria

Contact your local council for information regarding planning laws, public health laws and local council regulations that may affect accommodation for labour hire workers.
Telephone: 03 9667 5555

Skilled and Business Migration Program

This program works to support and attract investor and business migrants. The website has information about visas, living in Victoria and overseas qualifications.
Telephone: (03) 9651 9756

Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC)

VEOHRC is an independent statutory body with responsibilities under anti-discrimination laws.
Telephone: 1300 292 153

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

For information about seeking review of a relevant decision by the Authority.
Telephone: 1300 018 228

Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC)

VTHC is the representative body of trade union organisations.
Telephone: (03) 9659 3511

WorkSafe Victoria

Educates workers and employers about their workplace health and safety obligations, and enforces compliance with those obligations.
Telephone: 1800 136 089