Protect your business – make sure your labour hire provider is licensed

10 July 2023
Protect your business – make sure your labour hire provider is licensed

While many labour hire providers do the right thing, relying on a provider to confirm their licence status without checking LHA's Register of Licensed Providers may put your host business at risk of contravening the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic).

Hosts can face significant penalties for using unlicensed providers – more than $590,000 for a company and $145,000 for an individual.

It may also cause significant business disruption to hosts and impact to workers where a licensed labour hire provider becomes unlicensed – it is unlawful for the host to continue to engage that labour hire provider to meet its business requirements.

LHA has seen examples where labour hire providers have put hosts at risk by being dishonest about their licensing status, or by failing to notify hosts if their licence status changes.

Given these impacts, it’s important for all hosts to do some due diligence – there are some practices you can adopt to help ensure your providers are licensed and to monitor their licence status.

How hosts can ensure a provider is licensed

Check your existing providers

Take two quick actions on the LHA website to protect your business, while helping to protect labour hire workers and improve the integrity of the industry:

  1. Check your provider is licensed using LHA’s Register of Licensed Providers.
  2. Stay up to date on any changes to your provider’s licence status using Follow my Providers.

Before engaging a new provider

  • Check the provider is licensed using the Register of Licensed Providers.
  • Don’t rely on paper documentation – it could be illegitimate or out of date.
  • Verify the company offering services is the same as the company on the Register:
    • Note who is named as running the business, including any nominated officers.
    • If the person approaching you is not one of those people, confirm their connection to the licensed provider and authority to act, and ask to see an identity document.
    • Contact the provider’s nominated officer using the details on the Register, to satisfy yourself that the person or business is the licensed provider.
    • Keep a record of all checks made and dates conducted.

When engaging a new provider

Take steps to ensure the contract you establish with the provider protects your business:

  • Sign a written contract that properly identifies who they are (e.g. with director IDs, ABN and full names).
  • Include clear and specific expectations of the provider, including an obligation to advise you of any:
    • changes to the office holders of the business
    • change to licence status
    • subcontracting arrangements in place.
  • Consider limiting the provider’s ability to subcontract, to gain visibility of your supply chain.
  • Check that contract terms are sufficient to ensure workers are paid correct wages and entitlements.
  • Set clear expectations that the provider must comply with workplace laws.

If you are concerned about the bona fides of the business you are dealing with, or if you identify an unlicensed provider, you can also contact LHA on 1300 576 088.