Unlicensed providers found operating at meat processing facility in suburban Melbourne

1 February 2024
Unlicensed providers found operating at meat processing facility in suburban Melbourne

Labour Hire Authority (LHA) compliance officers have identified two unlicensed labour hire providers operating at a meat processing facility in suburban Melbourne.

The providers were identified during visits to four meat and poultry facilities in December 2023, where LHA officers reviewed records and interviewed a range of workers, providers and hosts.

Under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic), penalties for using or providing unlicensed labour hire services can exceed:

  • $600,000 for a corporation
  • $150,000 for an individual.

LHA investigations into the circumstances around these breaches are ongoing, along with consideration of appropriate compliance and enforcement action.

The businesses operating the meat and poultry processing facilities cooperated fully with LHA compliance officers, in line with legal requirements, despite a busy December period.

During the visits, other areas of potential non-compliance were identified, which will be investigated further, including regarding providers’ legal obligations to:

  • provide a safe working environment
  • make superannuation contributions for their workers
  • provide breaks required under the Meat Industry Award 2020
  • provide personal protective equipment (such as safety boots) at no cost when workers require them for their work.

LHA compliance focus on meat and poultry processing

LHA will continue to undertake site visits throughout 2024 as part of its expanded compliance program in the meat and poultry processing industry.

In December 2021, LHA put providers in the meat processing industry on notice that they could face licence cancellation if they made workers pay for necessary safety equipment and other expenses, such as Q Fever vaccinations.

During a site visit, LHA compliance officers may ask questions or ask to see documents that demonstrate what a business is doing to meet their legal obligations. This may include details of a provider’s labour hire licence, or information about the providers that a host is using.

LHA may also coordinate with other regulators and agencies such as WorkSafe, the Department of Health, Australian Taxation Office, Victoria Police and the Department of Justice and Community Safety for site inspections.

For more information about what to expect during these visits or relevant legal obligations: