Labour licensing in SA

Published on 13 December 2019


Consumer and Business Services (CBS) has recommenced accepting applications for labour hire licences, after several false starts.

On 1 March 2018, the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 started operating in South Australia. When elected, the Marshall Government indicated it intended to repeal the legislation and CBS ceased accepting labour hire licence applications. However, the State Government was unable to secure the numbers in the Legislative Council to repeal the Act.

CBS has announced it will start accepting applications for labour hire licences again, with all labour hire providers operating in South Australia needing to lodge their application by 31 August 2019.

Business SA had several concerns with the broad definition of labour hire in the original legislation, in that it unintentionally covered industries that were not labour hire. Coinciding with the CBS announcement, further exemptions have been introduced to address these concerns. An exemption from the requirement to be licensed under s11 of the Act has been granted to the following persons: 

  1. A person who provides labour hire services where the provision of such services is not a core function of the person’s business or undertaking.
  2. A person (“the provider”) who provides a worker to do work within the business or undertaking of:

    2.1. a body corporate that is related to the provider under section 50 of the Corporations Act 2001 of the Commonwealth; or
    2.2. a franchisee of a franchise of which the provider is also a franchisee; or
    2.3. another person that carries on business collectively with the provider under one recognisable business.Who will need a licence?

Who will need a licence? 

  • If your business provides workers to work for someone else in and as part of that other person’s business
  • If you have an arrangement with your workers to supply them to another person to undertake work
  • If the workers you provide to the other person are paid, whether in full or in part, by your business

Who doesn’t need a licence?

If the following applies to you, a labour hire licence will not be required: 

  • If providing labour hire services is not a core function of the business
  • If businesses provide workers to another business within the same group of companies – e.g. a parent company supplying workers to a subsidiary company
  • If businesses provide workers to work in another business where both businesses are part of the same franchise
  • If businesses provide workers to work in other businesses that are not part of a franchise but are collectively operating using the same banner, branding or trading name.

Importance for non-labour hire companies

It is important for all South Australian organisations to be aware of the labour hire licensing requirements. Not only will be it a requirement to hold a license in order to provide labour hire services, it will also be unlawful to accept labour hire services from an unlicensed provider.

What about other states and territories?

Labour hire licensing legislation is already in place in Queensland and Victoria and both the ACT and Federal governments have indicated they will consider implementing a scheme in the future, particularly for high risk industries such as horticulture, meat processing, cleaning and security.

For further information on labour hire licensing requirements contact CBS on 13 18 82 or Business SA policy team on (08) 8300 0000.