New labour hire laws commence this week
The transitional period for the Victorian labour hire laws ends on 29 October 2019, as the prohibitions on the provision and use of unlicensed labour hire services come into effect from 30 October 2019.
If a business provides labour hire services in Victoria from 30 October 2019, and they have not applied for a licence, then they can face serious fines, exceeding $500,000 for companies and $100,000 for individuals.
Also from 30 October 2019, businesses who engage a labour hire provider to supply a worker (the “host”) will face the same penalties as those for operating unlicensed.
This means that there are only two weeks left for businesses to register online and apply for labour hire licences.
How do you know if your business is a labour hire provider?
Under the labour hire laws, a labour hire provider has a broad definition. Arrangements that would not traditionally have been considered labour hire are now caught by the wide net cast by the labour hire laws.
Also, in Victoria the labour hire laws specifically target and extend coverage to businesses in the commercial cleaning, horticulture and meat processing industries.
Employers that are unsure whether their business may be required to be licensed should seek legal advice well ahead of the deadline in case they are considered a “labour hire provider” and need to apply for a licence.
How do you know if you are engaging with a labour hire provider?
If a business engages with labour hire providers to provide workers, it will be important to ensure that those providers are relevantly licensed prior to 30 October 2019.
Licensed labour hire providers will be listed on a public register, which hosts will be able to search to ensure the labour hire provider that they use are licensed.
In Victoria, there is a separate list on the Labour Hire Authority’s website for “Received Labour Hire Application public register” which can be checked to see whether the labour hire provider has applied for a licence.
Given the significant penalties which can be imposed for using unlicensed labour hire providers, businesses should consider adopting a proactive approach by seeking confirmation from labour hire providers that they are licensed or if not, the current status in applying for a licence well ahead of the deadline.
Businesses that are unsure as to whether they are engaging with labour hire providers are encouraged to seek advice before 29 October 2019.
This article was provided by HR Legal which has just celebrated its 10th year in business and is a well respected and influential employment and safety law firm for Australian businesses.