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Norman Waterhouse

Update on labour hire licensing regime in South Australia

Previously, we updated readers about the current State Government’s proposed repeal of the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (LHL Act). The LHL Act was enacted under the previous South Australian Government.

Since our last update, the repeal effort has failed. However, instead, the Labour Hire Licensing (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2020 has recently come into force to substantially limit the scope of the State’s labour hire licensing regime (while still retaining the overall licensing framework).

In short, a licence will only be required in respect of the provision of labour hire services for ‘prescribed work’. Prescribed work is defined in the LHL Act to mean only:

  • cleaning work;
  • horticultural processing work;
  • meat processing work;
  • seafood processing work;
  • trolley work; and
  • any other work of a kind prescribed by regulation (though no such additional work is prescribed as yet).

Many of the above categories of work are then further defined into subcategories. Other statutory definitions have also been changed or inserted, including definitions of ‘labour hire services’, ‘labour hire worker’ and the ‘supply’ of labour.

The result is that the LHL Act is now of much more limited application. However, in respect of those industries to which the LHL Act does still apply, there are serious consequences for service providers and customers alike (as it is an offence to enter into an arrangement with an unlicensed provider) if the requirements of the LHL Act are not met.

The licensing regime (regulated by the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs) remains similar to what was originally enacted. Notable, it is still the case that a ‘designated entity’, including an industrial association or a local government council, may object to an application for a licence on the grounds that the person applying for the licence (or it nominated ‘responsible person’ or any of its directors) is not a fit and proper person. The LHL Act sets out a number of non-exhaustive criteria to which the Commissioner may have regard to when determining whether a person is a fit and proper person to be the holder of a licence.

Although the LHL Act is now limited in application by reference only to specific industries, it is imperative that any business which does offer labour hire services in those industries—and any business which uses such services—is aware of, and duly observes, the requirements of the amended LHL Act.

For more specific information on any of the material contained in this article please contact Sathish Dasan on +61 8 8210 1253 or, or Chris Alexandrides on +61 8 8210 1299 or

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