Labour Hire and Contractor Licensing

Riverland Wine members attending a recent Labour Hire and Contractor Licensing Workshop, conducted by SAWIA in Berri in August, heard about many of the risks associated with the new Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 for wineries, wine grape growers, vineyard contractors and labour hire businesses alike.

The new legislation will protect workers from exploitation by providers of labour hire services, protect licensed labour hire businesses from predatory business practices and promote integrity in the labour hire industry

Providers engaged in ‘labour hire services’ must have applied for a licence by August 31, 2019 and be licensed by November 1, 2019. Thereafter penalties will apply. Unlicensed providers will be subject to $400,000 penalty and/or three years imprisonment. Clients of unlicensed providers will also be subject to the same penalties.

The workshop illustrated common examples of contractor engagement in the wine industry including the use of hand pruning, consultancy, harvest and irrigation contracting services. It was made clear that each situation must be carefully interpreted with regards to the need for the provider to be registered as a Labour Hire Service provider. Key points to consider when engaging a service provider include:

  • Scope of work – what is to be done by whom?
  • Service fee – How/when will payment occur?
  • Quality – How will sub-standard work be fixed?
  • Protections – Relevant insurances and professional standards obligations
  • Termination – How/when can it be ended?
  • Confidentiality – How/what is protected?
  • Compliance with laws – relevant employment, safety and migration legislation

Having written agreements in place will assist in identifying these responsibilities, the need for Labour Hire Licensing and reduce any risk of conflict or non-compliance. Along with SAWIA members, all wine grape growers who make a contribution without refund to WGCSA are entitled to specialist Human Resources advice from SAWIA.

Don’t get caught out. Contact Adrian Richards on 8222 9212 or email, for further clarification on what the new Labour Hire Licensing Laws mean for your wine grape growing enterprise. SAWIA can provide assistance in interpreting the legislation and also develop written agreements specific to your business.

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