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Labour hire licences in the ACT – a reminder


In May 2021, the ACT introduced the new labour hire licencing scheme which requires all labour hire service providers operating in the ACT to hold a licence before or by 27 November 2021.

Do I need a labour hire licence?

If your business provides workers to another person (individual or business) to do work, then you will need a labour hire licence.

We appreciate that this is a very broad definition, however, to assist businesses in determining whether they are required to have a labour hire licence, WorkSafe ACT has provided some case studies.

Scenario 1 – where a labour hire licence is not required:

Building company XYZ is developing a block of apartments and subcontracts the electrical work to an electrical contractor, who is responsible for completing the majority of the electrical work as outlined in the contract for a specified total sum. The electrical contractor has the commercial risk and legal responsibility for the work done and for the rectification of any defects in the work done. The character of the contract is not labour hire and the electrical contractor does not require to have a licence.

Scenario 2 – where a labour hire licence is required:

Business X provides workers to Business Y (a construction contractor) on an hourly rate basis to perform work for Business Y. Business X does not supply materials, is not responsible for fixing faults, and is not engaged to meet any other contractual obligations. The contract is for labour, and Business X requires a labour hire licence.

Do I need to hold a labour hire licence if I have a licence in another state or territory?

Yes. Although you have a labour licence in another state or territory, you will still need to apply for the labour licence in the ACT if you supply labour hire services in the ACT as different legislation apply to each state and territory.

I hire labourers, do I need a labour hire licence?

Businesses who use labour hire workers do not need to be licensed but should only hire workers from a business who holds a labour hire licence. Financial penalties may apply to businesses who engage with unlicensed providers.

If you supply labour hire services without a licence, you may face pecuniary penalties up to $128,000 for an individual and $2,430,000 for a corporation.

For more information about labour hire licence, please see Labour Hire Licence – WorkSafe ACT.

If you are unsure of your obligations and whether your situation constitutes labour hire, please contact our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on 6175 5900.