Labour hire

Labour hire licence

Licensing requirements will not be enforced before 1 February 2019.
For more information see the labour hire update.

A labour hire business provides workers to another business and pays a worker's wages, accommodation or meal allowance either in full or in part. Labour hire services are commonly referred to as on-hire arrangements.

All providers who have been granted a licence will appear on the register of licence holders.

Who must be licensed

There are three aspects to a labour hire agreement. A host employer pays a labour hire business to provide a worker. The labour hire business pays the worker in part or in full, including wages, accommodation, meal allowance. The worker performs work for the host employer.

Individuals and companies who supply workers to another person and pay for the workers' wages, accommodation or meal allowance, either in full or in part, must be licensed.

'In part' payment may take many forms, including paying any part of an employee's remuneration package.

Individuals and companies are considered to provide labour hire services regardless of whether:

  • the worker is an employee of the labour hire provider
  • there's a written contract between the labour hire provider and the worker
  • the worker is supplied directly or indirectly through an agent
  • the worker is under the direction of the labour hire provider or the host employer.

The diagram indicates how a labour hire agreement works. All three elements must be present for it to be considered a labour hire agreement.

When a licence is required - examples (100.5 KB PDF)

If the labour hire business is a partnership, then all partners must be licensed. Each partner must meet all of the eligibility criteria. Application forms will be available from 1 March 2018.

Who does not need to be licensed

A licence is not needed for the following:

  • individuals and companies that hold a current contractors licence for building, plumbing, gas fitting, electrical or security work issued by Consumer and Business Services
  • individuals and companies that provide a service rather than a worker do not require a licence - eg a customer asks for a financial audit and an accounting business delivers the service.
  • a business subcontracting work to another business - eg a building company subcontracting work to a tiler
  • a business outsourcing work to another business - eg a nursing home outsourcing maintenance tasks
  • registered group training organisations that supply apprentices or trainees to do work for other persons
  • hiring someone for a particular task through the sharing economy - eg Airtasker
  • a business that has been granted an exemption from the requirement to be licensed.

When a licence is not required - examples (100.5 KB PDF)

What you'll need


You must provide a letter from a chartered accountant, certified practising accountant or IPA public accountant confirming that you are solvent. The letter date must not be any older than six months of your licence application.

Knowledge and experience

If you’re applying for a labour licence licence as an individual you will need to meet one of the options below.

In the case of a company, at least one of the directors must meet one of the options below.

Option 1

Successful completion of:

  • BSBSMB401 Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
  • BSBHRM505 Manage remuneration and employee benefits.

Option 2

Successful completion of an accounting, business, economics or human resource related degree or diploma from Australia or New Zealand.

Option 3

Apply for recognition of prior learning if you believe that your past work experience or other qualifications can be assessed against any of the above qualifications. You will need to contact a registered training provider to arrange this.

If you apply prior to 1 September 2018 and have not completed one of the business pathways, a condition will be placed on your licence. You will need to show evidence of successful completion of one of the pathways by the time of your first renewal. Your renewal is due 12 months after the date the licence is granted. If you don't provide this your licence may be suspended or cancelled.

If you apply after 1 September 2018, you must have completed one of the business pathways to be eligible for a licence.

Police clearance

Individual applicants, and all directors if applying as a company, must include with their application a copy of a National Police Certificate (NPC) no more than 12 months old. The police check must disclose all history. Clearances to work with children or vulnerable people are not sufficient.

Apply for an NPC through:

You do not need an NPC if you:

  • are director of a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • have lodged an NPC with CBS within the last year
  • are an overseas resident and have never lived in Australia
  • have held a licence within the last year and are applying for an equivalent licence.

Appoint responsible persons

There must be at least two responsible persons who are responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of the business. Consider how many responsible persons you will need for your business, considering the size and scope of your business functions and the number of branches.

Each person must be fit and proper to be a responsible person. You must provide a police clearance for each responsible person in your business.

Each responsible person must be reasonably available to be contacted during business hours.

Details of the responsible persons must be included in your licence application. If you wish to change a responsible person at any time you must seek approval from Consumer and Business Services (CBS).

A substitute responsible person can be appointed for 30 days or less if a responsible person will be absent from the business. You must notify CBS using the required form and pay the notification fee. A more detailed application must be made if the substitute responsible person is to be appointed for more than 30 days.


Fees include the application and annual amounts.


Natural person application fee

$562 + $225 (first year's fee)

Body corporate (company) application fee

$562 + $1,226 (first year's fee)

Application to change a responsible person


Application to apply for substitute responsible person


Annual fees:

Natural person


Body corporate


Licensed in another state or territory

If you hold a labour hire providers licence from another state or territory, you are still required to apply for a licence in South Australia however, you may not need to meet all the eligibility criteria relating to fitness and propriety and finances. Please contact CBS to discuss the application requirements.

Apply for a new licence

Apply now

Applications with no objections will usually be processed within 28 days.

Object to an application

All applications for a labour hire licence will be published online. A government agency, local council or industrial association may object to an application if they believe that the applicant or nominated responsible person is not fit and proper to hold a licence.

The objection must be in writing and lodged with CBS within 14 days of the licence application being published. CBS will notify the licence applicant of the objection and allow 14 days for a response.

CBS will consider the objection and the applicant's response when determining whether to grant a licence.

Current applications available for objection.

Change of a responsible person

Apply to add or change a responsible person.


Apply for an exemption

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Page last updated 1 July 2018

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
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