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I use labour hire providers

Under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (the Act), users of labour hire must only use licensed labour hire providers. Users of labour hire should be aware that they:

Users of labour hire can ensure they are using a licensed provider by searching the register of licensed labour hire providers.

When do I have to start using licensed labour hire providers?

From 16 April 2018, all labour hire providers must ensure they have a licence to provide labour.

You can check if a labour hire provider has a licence by checking the labour hire register. You can also check whether a labour hire provider has made an application by viewing the pending applications list. However, please note that you cannot use a labour hire provider who has only made an application – they must hold a current licence.

If you continue to use a labour hire provider whose application has been refused you may be penalised for using an unlicensed provider.

Find a licensed labour hire provider

You can find a licensed labour hire provider by searching the labour hire register. You can also search the pending applications list to check if a labour hire provider has applied for a licence. However, please note that you cannot use a labour hire provider who has only made an application – they must hold a current licence.

You must ensure you comply with your legal obligations by only engaging licensed labour hire providers.

It is an offence to use an unlicensed labour hire provider. You can find out more on the laws and compliance page.

What is an avoidance arrangement?

An avoidance arrangement is an arrangement designed to circumvent or avoid an obligation to use a licensed labour hire provider or for a labour hire provider to be licensed.

It is an offence if the person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that it was an avoidance arrangement.

Reporting a problem

The Office of Industrial Relations works in partnership with other State and Commonwealth agencies to:

  • stop unfair competition in the industry
  • support responsible labour hire companies
  • protect workers from exploitation.

Please report a problem if you have concerns or information about:

  • labour hire providers operating without a licence
  • a business using an unlicensed labour hire provider
  • a labour hire provider not complying with relevant State and Commonwealth laws.

Workplace inspections

Inspectors may enter the workplace of a users of labour hire to check compliance of labour hire providers . Inspectors will generally try to provide notice before entering a workplace and will ensure inspections place minimal interruption to the business. In some circumstances it may be necessary to enter workplaces without notice.

Failing to comply with inspectors' requirements can result in penalties.

More information on workplace investigations can be found in Laws and compliance.

What can I do to help?

Users of labour hire have an essential role in maintaining healthy and safe conditions for workers.

You can help tackle unlicensed activity and exploitation of workers by:

  • using the labour hire register to check if your labour hire provider has a current licence
  • checking the pay calculator to calculate  rates of pay your labour hire provider should be paying
  • maintaining a list of all workers on your site
  • understanding your obligations to labour hire workers (visit the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information)
  • checking contract prices to ensure labour costs can be covered in accordance with relevant Awards and Enterprise Agreements
  • setting clear expectations that you expect the labour hire provider to comply with workplace laws
  • being aware of and understanding subcontracting arrangements that may take place
  • informing the Office of Industrial Relations of any problems or breaches of labour hire licensing laws
  • contacting us if you need advice or guidance.

To find out more about using labour hire, read the Fair Work Ombudsman's guides to contracting labour and supply chains.

Last updated 07 March 2022