Victoria

New laws to make things fair for local labour hire workers

The Victorian Government is introducing new laws to make things fair for labour hire workers in Victoria.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Acting Minister for Industrial Relations Luke Donnellan announced the Government’s tough new Labour Hire Licensing legislation, which will be introduced into Parliament.

The Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017 will protect labour hire workers from being underpaid and exploited by labour hire businesses and hosts.

The new scheme is in response to the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work – a key election promise – which uncovered widespread abuse and exploitation of workers across Victoria.

To stop this exploitation, the Government will introduce a universal licensing scheme to protect labour hire workers across all sectors and will be run by an independent Labour Hire Licensing Authority.

Under the new scheme:

  • providers of labour hire services will be required to hold a licence, and hosts will be required to only use licensed providers
  • to obtain a licence, providers will be required to pass “a fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws, and minimum accommodation standards
  • licensed providers will be listed on a publicly accessible register
  • an inspectorate within the Authority will monitor and investigate compliance with the scheme
  • rogue operators that do not comply or attempt to flout the scheme will be liable for hefty civil and criminal penalties

The scheme is broadly similar to labour hire licensing schemes being developed in South Australia and Queensland, and will provide continuing impetus for a national scheme.

The Government has provided funding of $8.5 million to establish the Authority and the scheme in 2018.

Source: Vic Government