Vic labour hire laws clear upper house

Vic labour hire laws clear upper house

By Jim Wilson on 21 June 2018 Victoria’s proposed labour hire licensing regime is on the way to becoming law after it cleared the state’s upper house earlier this week. WorkplaceInfo understands that the new legislation will come into force on a date yet to be declared.

Under the new legislation, providers of labour hire services will be required to hold a licence obtainable from a new body, the Labour Hire Licensing Authority, and hosts will be required to only use licensed providers of labour hire services.

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 also be listed on a publicly accessible register and an inspectorate within the Authority will monitor and investigate compliance with the scheme. 

Businesses that do not comply with, or attempt to flout, the scheme may be liable for hefty civil and criminal penalties.

According to the explanatory memorandum to the Labour Hire Licensing Bill 2017, the new legislation gives effect to recommendations from the Labour Hire and Insecure Work Inquiry. That inquiry found “significant evidence” of exploitation of labour hire workers and recommended the introduction of a licensing scheme.

The Victorian scheme is broadly similar to labour hire licensing schemes in South Australia and Queensland. However, WorkplaceInfo further understands that, since the change of government in South Australia, that the implementation of the South Australian scheme has been delayed.

'Disappointed'


Commenting on the latest developments in Victoria, the RCSA, the peak body for the recruitment and staffing industry in Australia and New Zealand, told WorkplaceInfo that it was disappointed the bill had passed the upper house. 

“Once the Act takes effect, any business providing labour hire services in Victoria, like those operating in Queensland presently, will be required to have or have applied for a licence as a condition of operating in that state.

“RCSA is disappointed to see the introduction of a broad-based licensing scheme in Victoria.  We had been an active and vocal advocate for a targeted and more effective approach to licensing and we represented that view, on behalf of members, to policy developers, policy decision-makers and independent MPs throughout the inquiry and parliamentary processes.   

“While we commend the Victorian Opposition for their support of a targeted approach, we are disappointed that the Victorian Parliament has chosen to adopt a licensing approach that captures the broadest range of reputable providers while doing little to stamp out determined poor behaviour by rogue operators.”

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