16 July 2018

Labour Hire Licensing update

After a lengthy gestation, the Victorian Parliament finally passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act on 20 June 2018. Victoria had the benefit of observing the earlier legislation passed by South Australia and Queensland and their implementation. The new legislation benefits from this perspective to provide clearer drafting, but the final result is to further complicate the situation by moving further away from synchronisation across the States.

The Queensland, South Australian and Victorian legislation seek a common goal of imposing regulation to strike at the exploitation of workers and restore integrity to the labour hire industry. They each impose an obligation on labour hire firms to be licensed, with online registers to be available in each State for public inspection. Each State makes it an offence to trade without a licence or to engage the services of an unlicensed labour hire firm. There are slight differences between the States as to who constitutes a ‘fit and proper’ licensee but the main focus is on financial viability, and corporate and safety compliance.

However, the schemes fall down in their definitions and scope of operation, which create divergences in interpretation between the three States, and their impact on national labour hire operations:

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Alison has close to 18 years’ experience in a wide-ranging employment practice, advising private sector and public sector clients...

Sean has practised in insurance litigation since 1992, acting on behalf of defendant insurers and self insured across the...

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