The Andrews Labor Government is making sure Victorian labour hire workers now have stronger safeguards with the state’s first Labour Hire Licensing Scheme now in effect.
Labour hire providers have six months to obtain a licence or else face significant penalties.
Mark Gepp MP, Member for Northern Victoria today welcomed the new scheme, saying;
“At the last election, Labor promised to do more to protect vulnerable workers, and this is just one way we’re keeping that promise.
“This scheme will apply much greater scrutiny to the Labour Hire industry while improving safety and stopping exploitation of workers.
“By stopping dodgy Labor Hire practices, we can make it easier for those doing the right thing.”
The independent Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work – a key election promise – uncovered widespread abuse, underpayment and exploitation in the sector, which includes commercial cleaners, fruit pickers and meat workers.
The Labour Hire Authority has held more than 30 information sessions since March to help providers understand their obligations, and further information can be found at labourhireauthority.vic.gov.au
The sessions have involved industries such as security, cleaning, meat processing, fruit and vegetable harvesting and processing, vocational training, finance, consulting and IT, healthcare, manufacturing, accommodation, construction and transport.
To obtain a licence, contractors will be required to pass a “fit and proper person test” and show compliance with workplace laws, labour hire laws and minimum accommodation standards. They will also need to report annually on their activities.
Host employers that use unlicensed providers face maximum fines of more than $500,000.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas
“This is about protecting the rights of some of Victoria’s most vital and vulnerable workers – people who pick our fruit, process our meat and clean our stockroom floors.”
“We’re cracking down on dodgy operators who think there’s such a thing as first and second-class workers. Unlike the Liberals and Nationals, who voted against this scheme – we back Victorian workers and always will.”