Labour hire providers in Victoria have six months to obtain a license or face significant penalties.
It follows the launch of the state’s first Labour Hire Licensing Scheme, which has been implemented to keep workers safe from exploitation.
The independent Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire and Insecure Work uncovered widespread abuse, underpayment and exploitation within the sector, prompting the new laws.
A public information campaign will be launched to inform contractors and host businesses which use labour hire workers and will operate alongside information sessions.
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.
Annual reporting on a business’s activity will also be required.
Host employers that use unlicensed provides face maximum fines of more than $500,000.
Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas said the move was about protecting the rights of some of Victoria’s most vital and vulnerable workers.
“We’re cracking down on dodgy operators who think there’s such a thing as first and second-class workers,” Pallas said.
Labour Hire Authority Commissioner Steve Dargavel said the focus of the Authority is to ensure 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,” he said.