There are rules and responsibilities associated with being a labour hire provider under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic) (LHL Act).

Find out more about these obligations, consequences for non-compliance, and how to report an issue.

What is a labour hire provider?

A labour hire provider is an individual or organisation that:

  • supplies workers and pays them to perform work in and as part of a host’s business
  • recruits workers for a host and provides accommodation, and/or
  • recruits workers as independent contractors for a host and manages the contract performance.

Additionally, workers supplied to perform certain activities are considered labour hire workers under the LHL Act, and their employer is considered a labour hire provider.

These activities include:

  • cleaning commercial premises
  • performing certain horticulture activities
  • performing certain activities in a meat or poultry manufacturing or processing plant.

If you supply workers that perform these activities, you are likely to be providing labour hire services and will require a licence.

More information about key labour hire industries, along with tailored guidance material, is available on the Key labour hire industries page.

A business generally only needs to supply one worker to a host to be a labour hire provider. There are some circumstances where supplying workers is not considered to be labour hire – for more information, visit Excluded classes of workers

The LHL Act covers work performed within Victoria, and arrangements made within Victoria for work performed outside of the state. This means that in order to operate legally in Victoria, a labour hire provider must be licensed.

Providers cannot advertise or provide workers until their licence application is approved and their licence is granted. Significant penalties apply.

Obligations of a labour hire provider

Labour hire providers must:

  • comply with their licence conditions
  • comply with relevant laws
  • provide annual reporting on labour hire activities
  • notify LHA of certain changes
  • ensure each relevant person continues to be a ‘fit and proper person’ and compliant with relevant laws
  • ensure nominated officers are available to LHA.

Failing to comply with obligations may result in:

  • penalties
  • a licence being suspended
  • a licence being cancelled
  • conditions being imposed on the licence.

Complying with relevant laws

Providers must comply with a range of laws, including:

  • workplace laws
  • taxation laws
  • superannuation laws
  • occupational health and safety laws
  • workers compensation laws
  • labour hire industry laws
  • migration laws
  • transport laws
  • applicable accommodation standards.

Annual reporting

Labour hire providers must report annually on their labour hire activities for the previous 12 months. This helps to improve transparency and integrity in the labour hire industry, and to support compliance monitoring.

For more information, please visit the Annual reporting page.

Breaches and penalties

There are significant penalties for breaches of the LHL Act.

Providing labour hire services without a licence

Providers found to have provided labour hire services without a current licence face penalties exceeding:

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

Advertising labour hire services while unlicensed

Individuals and organisations advertising labour hire services without a current licence face penalties exceeding:

  • $38,000 for an individual
  • $150,000 for a corporation.

Avoidance arrangements

Individuals or organisations who avoid labour hire licensing obligations imposed by the LHL Act face penalties exceeding:

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

Failing to notify LHA

Individuals or organisations who fail to notify LHA of specified changes to their business face penalties exceeding:

  • $7,000 for an individual
  • $30,000 for a corporation.

Licence application and renewal

Providers can apply for and renew a licence via the Labour Hire Licensing Online portal.

Before applying, please visit the Apply for a labour hire licence page.

Before renewing, please visit the Renewing a labour hire licence page.

Providers must pay a licence application fee at application and licence renewal. Licence fees are also payable annually. For more information, please visit the Licence fees and costs.

Monitoring the licensing scheme

The Labour Hire Authority has a team of inspectors whose role is to:

  • promote
  • monitor
  • investigate
  • enforce compliance with the LHL Act and regulations.

Where there are reasonable grounds, inspectors have the power to:

  • require production of documents
  • require provision of information
  • enter and search premises
  • examine and seize anything suspected of being connected with a possible contravention of the LHL Act or regulations
  • inspect, copy, or take extracts from documents on the premises and make images or recordings
  • seek the assistance of other persons
  • where necessary, apply to the Magistrates' Court for a search warrant.

Report a problem

The Labour Hire Authority works with other state and commonwealth agencies to protect the rights of labour hire workers in Victoria.

If you would like to report a problem to LHA, please visit the Report a problem page.

In addition, a person or organisation who has an interest in the protection of workers or the integrity of the labour hire industry – including providers and hosts – may object to a licence being issued or renewed. 

Objections can be made by clicking on ‘Raise an objection to this application’ next to the provider’s licence application on the Received Labour Hire Application public register.

Further resources

Once their licence has been issued, all nominated officers will be automatically subscribed to receive our monthly newsletter via email.

For a list of useful resources regarding the Labour Hire Authority and the licensing scheme, please visit the Resources page.