Mia’s take on Victorian labour hire registration

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October 29 is the cut-off date for businesses needing labour hire registration – whether as providers or hosts – to have applied for a labour hire licence, under the Victorian Government’s Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018.

Victoria’s Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (the LHL Act) comes into action on 30 October – that’s in about three weeks. Before this date, many businesses will need to have completed labour hire registration – or at least applied for a licence – to legally operate in Victoria.

Since Mia is one of those businesses in need of a licence, we’re taking the opportunity to share some things we’ve learnt through the rather arduous application process.

The Victorian Labour Hire Act 2018

Before we get into our observations about the labour hire registration process, there are some basic things businesses involved in labour hire need to know.

The LHL Act 2018 was established in response to the Victorian Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work. It is designed to ensure workers are protected from exploitation of their working rights and conditions by providers.

The key elements of the LHL Act for businesses operating in Victoria are as follows:

  • Labour hire providers must be licensed to operate in Victoria. (Note that businesses operating in other states may need to comply with licensing laws in other states.)
  • Businesses (hosts) that use labour hire providers must only engage licensed providers.
  • Labour hire providers must report annually on their labour hire activities.

Broadly, a labour hire provider is considered to be a business that supplies resources to a client (host) to undertake work in the capacity of an employee. Full definitions of labour hire providers and hosts can be found on the Victorian Labour Hire Authority (LHA) website, along with all the key information around applying for a licence.

To continue operating legally in Victoria, all deemed labour hire providers have until 29 October 2019 to apply for a licence. You don’t need your labour hire registration approved by this date, but you must have your application submitted for approval. Similarly, host businesses in Victoria must only use labour hire providers that have applied for the licence by this due date.

If you miss the 29 October deadline, you risk a penalty (such as a fine) and being unable to trade in Victoria.

Mia’s labour hire registration experience

Under the LHL Act, Mia is considered to be a labour hire provider on account of our procurement and project management services, whereby we supply consultants for implementation of both government and commercial projects. Accordingly, we have begun the process of registering for a Labour Hire Operating Licence (LHOL) to ensure we are compliant by the deadline of 29 October.

Through the course of completing the application, we’ve learnt a bit about the process and requirements.

To be honest, labour hire registration is a rather onerous process and very invasive in terms of the information a business needs to provide. Not to mention the fees involved – required for the application, annual licence, and renewal (in three years). This is quite impactful for any business, but in particular a small to medium sized business (SME).

What follows are our key takeaways.

1. The Labour Hire Authority website is a great source of information

Information on the Labour Hire Authority website is very comprehensive and helpful, and includes a Resources page with links to a glossary of terms, the legislation, useful links, and guides and references. We found the following application guide and checklist particularly helpful.

The website also hosts a customer service support centre – phone and email.

2. A nominated senior officer of the business needs to complete the application

The person completing the application needs to have full knowledge of the company’s operations and authority to speak on its behalf – for instance, the CEO, CFO or COO. Licence applications must include the full name, position description and contact details of all nominated officers for the licence.

3. Gather the required documentation first

The application requires quite a number of certified documents to be uploaded, as well as detailed company information provided. The above-mentioned application guide and checklist summarises what is needed, allowing you to collate the required information before commencing the labour hire registration process.

Company documentation and information includes: annual turnover, ASICS, ATO and Workcover requirements/registrations. This supports the going concern and compliance of the business for the purpose of the licence.

The nominated officer(s) completing the application also needs to provide personal identification documentation to facilitate a police check – such as driver licence and passport.

4. Licence applications are filled out online

All registration applications are filled out and submitted online via the LHA website.

The registration process will take at least 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, providing all the required documentation and certifications are on hand. The online application form allows you to stop, save, pause and return to the application.

5. Fees are based on annual turnover

There are three sets of fees associated with labour hire registration – an application fee, annual fee, and a renewal fee. These are tiered, dependent on annual turnover.

  • Application fee – ranges from $1599-$7898, depending on turnover. Successful applications will be valid for three years.
  • Annual fee – ranges from $1110-$5450, depending on turnover. You pay for your annual fee when your application has been approved.
  • Renewal fee – After three years of registration, businesses will need to apply for a renewal of their licence.

The three tiers are determined as follows: Tier 1 for businesses with under $2m turnover; Tier 2 for businesses with $2m – $10m turnover; and Tier 3 for businesses with greater than $10m turnover.

For existing businesses, the annual turnover is based on the previous financial year to determine which tier. Most businesses registering for the first time will be required to pay both an application fee and also the annual fee. All application fees are non-refundable, regardless of whether the application is withdrawn or a licence is refused.

In conclusion, businesses that need to register need to get onto it right now. Head to the Labour Hire Authority website which will guide you through the process. (We’ve barely scratched the surface here!)

You may also be interested in our blog post from June 2018, introducing the Bill before it was passed.

 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is intended for general purposes only; it is not comprehensive and should not be taken as such. Mia Consulting Services strongly recommends that Victoria’s Labour Hire Authority or professional legal advice be sought by businesses seeking information about labour hire registration under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018.

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