Licensing Q&A: Do commercial cleaners need a labour hire licence?

24 February 2022
Licensing Q&A: Do commercial cleaners need a labour hire licence?

The LHA received quite a few enquiries concerning whether commercial cleaners are required to hold a labour hire licence under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (the Act).

While a cleaner in a commercial premise is not specifically defined in the Act, it is taken to mean a cleaner performing work in a commercial premise or a commercial space.

A commercial premise is a building or place at which an occupation, profession or trade is carried on for the provision of services directly to members of the public, or that is used as an office or retail premises.

It includes shops, restaurants and schools.

It does not include any part of a place that is used as a person’s place of residence.

Generally speaking, businesses that provide staff to perform work as a cleaner in a commercial premise (or in the horticultural, meat manufacturing and poultry industries) are likely to be providing labour hire services and will need a licence.

However, there are some notable exceptions.

Bodies corporate

A labour hire licence is not required to provide a director of a body corporate, where that director participates in the management of the body corporate or shares in its profits, and the body corporate has no more than two directors.

However, a licence would be required if that body corporate later has three or more directors or supplies another worker that isn’t a director.

Sole traders and partnerships

A labour hire licence is not required where a sole trader or partnership provides themselves as a worker. This is because the definition of ‘providing a labour hire service’ involves supplying a worker to a host. If the sole trader or partnership are providing themselves, they are not supplying the worker for the purposes of the Act.

However, if the sole trader supplies another worker (for example, if the sole trader is on annual leave or sick), then this is considered labour hire and a licence would be required.

Excluded classes of workers

There are some classes of workers that are excluded. Businesses that only provide workers in the following circumstances will not require a licence:

  • Secondees
  • Providing workers within a group
  • Small body corporate providing a director
  • Public sector employees
  • Students
  • Vocational placements

Please see our website for further information:

If you are still unsure about whether you meet the definition of a labour hire provider and require a labour hire licence, it is important that you seek independent legal advice.