Victorian labour hire workers now have stronger safeguards with the state’s first Labour Hire Licensing Scheme starting today.
Labour hire providers have six months to obtain a licence or else face significant penalties.
The Andrews Labor Government is implementing the scheme to bring a new level of integrity and scrutiny to the labour hire industry and keep workers safe and free from exploitation.
The independent Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work – a key election promise – uncovered widespread abuse, underpayment and exploitation in the sector, which includes commercial cleaners, fruit pickers and meat workers.
The Authority has held more than 30 information sessions since March to help providers understand their obligations.
The sessions have involved industries such as security, cleaning, meat processing, fruit and vegetable harvesting and processing, vocational training, finance, consulting and IT, healthcare, manufacturing, accommodation, construction and transport.
A further public information campaign to inform both contractors and the host businesses who use labour hire workers will begin today.
To obtain a licence, contractors will be required to pass a “fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws and minimum accommodation standards. They will also need to report annually on their activities.
Host employers that use unlicensed providers face maximum fines of more than $500,000.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas
“This is about protecting the rights of some of Victoria’s most vital and vulnerable workers – people who pick our fruit, process our meat and clean our stockroom floors.”
“We’re cracking down on dodgy operators who think there’s such a thing as first and second-class workers. Unlike the Liberals and Nationals, who voted against this scheme – we back Victorian workers and always will.”
Quotes attributable to Labour Hire Authority Commissioner Steve Dargavel
“The focus of the Labour Hire Authority is to ensure that workplace law is not breached in respect of labour hire workers.”
“The Authority is here to help, and we encourage anyone in the industry to contact us for information or guidance through the licensing process.”