Use accredited labour hire companies or be fined
13 August 2019
A reminder for all Victorian growers that from October 30, 2019, they must only use labour hire companies that have been approved under the State Government’s labour hire licensing scheme.
The Government introduced the scheme this year to ensure the fair treatment of workers, and any business found to be employing a labour provider without a license after this date can be fined up to $500,000. A similar scheme operates in Queensland.
Businesses can view the license and application status of providers on the Labour Hire Authority (LHA) website: https://labourhireauthority.vic.gov.au/
Importantly, it is the responsibility of hosts (grower/packer/business owner) to be sure that a provider’s licence is in place. They can monitor this by registering with LHA and will then receive an alert if the status of their provider’s licence changes.
Labour hire companies will need to meet the ‘fit and proper’ test, and LHA staff will travel to farms to meet with workers to confirm that information in the applications is accurate.
The LHA said hosts should consider having an agreement in their contract with providers, that providers will maintain their licence and advise the host in reasonable time if their licence is going to be cancelled.
It’s important for hosts to have a good relationship with their providers, and to monitor this, as there is no grace period for hosts if a provider loses their licence.
Providers will be given 14 days’ notice of their licence being cancelled but this doesn’t mean they have to advise hosts.
The final day for labour companies to apply for a licence is October 29. Businesses can use providers during their application process, and monitor the progress online.