The Labour Hire Authority’s (LHA) recently released Annual Report shows a crackdown on dodgy operators, strict reviews of licence applications and a significant take up of the labour hire licensing scheme to:
- improve the transparency and integrity of the labour hire industry
- prevent the exploitation of labour hire workers by their providers and hosts.
The report shows that LHA assessed and reviewed 2,435 labour hire licences and applications. Of these, the LHA granted 2,030 labour hire licences, bringing the total number of licenced labour hire providers in Victoria to 5,139 as at 30 June 2021.
The LHA also refused nine applications and cancelled 95 licences. Many refusals and cancelations followed investigations related to issues including workplace and other laws.
In 95 other instances where suspension was not the most appropriate option, the LHA issued licence variations. One variation involved the former CEO of a labour hire provider who was recently convicted of a serious indictable offence at the County Court. The provider’s licence was altered the day after the verdict was passed down, imposing a condition excluding the defendant from all labour hire services provided by the entity.
The work of the LHA has prevented hundreds of rogue operators from breaking the rules or entering the industry altogether. With assistance from the Australian Taxation Office and other law enforcement agencies, the LHA is also dismantling labour hire providers involved in illegal phoenix activities that leave workers and businesses with outstanding payments and lost entitlements.
“The LHA has made important progress on cleaning up the labour hire industry and clearing out the rogue operators, but we have more work to do, and a significant number of investigations are underway,” says Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner, Steve Dargavel.
As the LHA approaches the anniversary of its third year of operation, its work to educate the labour hire industry about its legal requirements continues. The LHA conducted 2,431 education and compliance inspections last financial year, reaching out to labour hire providers, hosts, workers and other industry participants.