Victorian labour hire businesses have just over one month to register for the Andrews Labor Government’s new accreditation scheme, or else face significant penalties.
From 30 October 2019, only labour hire providers who are licensed or are awaiting an application decision will be allowed to operate in Victoria.
This is courtesy of Victoria’s first ever Labour Hire Licensing Scheme, which is about protecting vulnerable workers while cracking down on dodgy operators that seek to profit from denying workers minimum pay rates and conditions.
Providers have been given six months to transition to the scheme, with penalties to kick in after 30 October and a second statewide information campaign beginning today so that employers and providers are aware of their responsibilities.
Host employers that use an unlicensed provider face a maximum fine of more than $500,000 for each breach, while unlicensed providers will also face fines in excess of $500,000 per breach.
The Scheme – which is overseen by the Labour Hire Authority – was established following the independent Victorian Inquiry into Labour Hire and Insecure Work, which uncovered widespread abuse, underpayment and exploitation of workers in the labour hire industry.
The Authority will continue to deliver information sessions across the state alongside an ad campaign.
More than 100 information sessions have been held across Victoria, involving 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.
If you supply workers to another business in any industry or occupation, including commercial cleaning, you may be a labour hire provider under the law. Visit labourhireauthority.vic.gov.au for more information or to subscribe for updates.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas
“We’re putting a stop to the widespread exploitation of workers in these key industries – it is not acceptable.”
“Our message to dodgy operators is clear: if your business model relies on the abuse and underpayment of workers, then your business is simply not viable.”
Quotes attributable to Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner Steve Dargavel
“Legitimate businesses operating within the law have nothing to fear with the commencement of the licensing system and everything to gain from a level playing field.”
“The Authority is here to help and we encourage anyone in the industry to contact us for information or guidance through the licensing process.”