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Who is a labour hire worker?

Workers are generally individuals employed and paid by labour hire providers and supplied to host businesses, farms or organisations on a full-time, part-time or casual basis.

In addition, if a person supplied by a labour hire provider is paid by a host, that person will still be a worker under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 if the provider also procures or provides accommodation for the person.

A person who is an independent contractor supplied to a host by a labour hire provider will also be a worker under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 if the provider continues to manage the performance of the contract — for example, by providing administrative and payroll functions or performance management in relation to the contractor.

Providers who supply only individuals who fall outside the definition of worker in the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 and the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 will not be regarded as labour hire providers and will not be required to be licensed.  The Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 prescribe a number of classes of individuals as not being workers. These include:

  • certain secondees
  • certain persons in circumstances where both the individual and the provider are part of an entity or group of entities
  • an individual supplied to a host who is a director of a body corporate with no more than two directors, and who participates in the management of the body corporate or shares in its profits
  • students to whom Division 1 or 2 of Part 5.4 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 applies
  • people undertaking work or services under a vocational placement within the meaning of the Fair Work Act 2009(Cth).

How does the labour hire licensing scheme affect workers?

The scheme aims to protect labour hire workers from exploitation by seeking to ensure that only licensed labour hire providers operate in Victoria.

Labour hire workers can have confidence that licensed labour hire providers have demonstrated appropriate compliance with workplace, taxation and occupational health and safety laws.

From 30 October 2019, hosts must only use:

  • licensed labour hire providers, or
  • providers that applied for a licence before 30 October 2019 and their application has not been refused.

Workers who are entering into an arrangement with a labour hire provider are advised to check if the provider is licensed or has applied for a licence.  The Labour Hire Authority publishes a Register of Licensed Labour Hire Providers on its website.  Workers are also be able to check a separate online list of ‘Applications received’ to check whether a provider has applied for a licence.  

What if I don’t think a labour hire provider should be licensed?

A person or organisation who has an interest in the protection of workers or the integrity of the labour hire industry, such as a worker, may make an objection to a licence being issued to an applicant. 

If you think a labour hire provider does not or will not meet their obligations, you can object to the issue of their licence.

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

Monitoring the licensing scheme

The Labour Hire Authority has a team of inspectors whose role is to promote, monitor, investigate and enforce compliance with the Act and regulations.  

Inspectors have a variety of powers to monitor compliance with the scheme including, where there are reasonable grounds, the power to:

  • enter and search premises
  • examine and seize anything suspected of being connected with a possible contravention
  • 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.

Labour hire providers who are found to be unlicensed face significant financial penalties. For more information, please visit the Penalties page.

Report a problem

If you have a complaint, concerns or information about the mistreatment of workers, unlicensed labour hire providers or a host using workers supplied by an unlicensed labour hire provider, you can report this by calling the Authority on 1300 545 200 or by visiting the report a problem page.

Please contact Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) on 131 450 if you need translation services.

Further resources

The information on this website is based on the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic.) (the LHL Act)and the Labour Hire Licensing Regulations 2018 (Vic.) (the LHL Regulations) and provides broad details of the labour hire licensing scheme.


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