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Labour Hire Back on the Agenda

Labour Hire Back on the Agenda

Earlier this year, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Victoria) came into effect making Victoria the third state (after South Australia and Queensland) to enact legislation requiring labour hire providers to hold a licence.

Licences are granted by the Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Authority for a 3-year period, provided the labour hire provider passes the “fit and proper person” test (demonstrating compliance with industrial and taxation laws).

In a recently-publicised briefing document provided to the IR Minister after the federal election in May 2019, the Government has agreed to provide funding to the Fair Work Ombudsman to enable it to set up a National Labour Hire Registration Scheme early in 2020.

The Scheme was recommended by Professor Allan Fels, head of the migrant worker taskforce, with a view to reducing worker exploitation in four high risk sectors- namely horticulture, meat processing, cleaning and security.

Consultation on the proposed national scheme will need to occur before any changes are introduced.

Once the new scheme is

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The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a record $238,920 penalty on a company providing an airport shuttle service from Newcastle to Sydney airport, for underpaying its drivers. 

Interestingly, the Fair Work investigation arose not from an employee complaint, but as part of a national compliance campaign focussed on sham contracting. The penalty imposed was made up partly of breaches relating to misrepresentation of employees as contractors, and partly for failing to meet award requirements.

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