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Victoria cracks down on dodgy labour hire operators

In order to crack down on dodgy operators, Victorian labour hire operators that haven’t registered for the State Governments new accreditation scheme will soon face significant penalties.

Only labour hire providers which are licensed or awaiting an application decision will be allowed to operate in Victoria from 20 October 2019.

It comes after the state’s first ever Labour Hire Licensing Scheme was introduced to crack 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 new scheme, with penalties kicking in after 30 October.

Host employers that use an unlicensed provider face a maximum fine of more than $500,000 for each breach, with unlicensed providers also facing similar fines per breach.

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The scheme is overseen by the Labour Hire Authority, which has launched a second information campaign to provide employers and providers information about their responsibilities.

The new laws were 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.

Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner, Steve Dargavel, said 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.”

Industries such as construction, security, cleaning, meat processing, fruit and vegetable harvesting and processing, vocational training, finance, consulting and IT, healthcare, manufacturing, accommodation, and transport will be impacted by the new laws.

Victorian Industrial Relations Minister, Tim Pallas, said the State Government is putting a stop to widespread exploitation of workers in these key areas.

“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.”

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