Labour Hire Authority update- New agriculture and horticulture program – ‘Smarter, Safer Farms’, Changes to hosts’ duties under the OHS Act to labour hire workers, & LHA in 2023

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New agriculture and horticulture program – ‘Smarter, Safer Farms’

Providers, hosts, and workers in the agriculture and horticulture industry should be aware of a new initiative from Agriculture Victoria – the Smarter, Safer Farms program. The $20 million program aligns with the Labour Hire Authority (LHA) focus on ensuring workers on farms operate in safer conditions, especially given the significant proportion of Victoria’s labour hire industry operating in the agriculture and horticulture sector. More information is available at the LHA website

Changes to hosts’ duties under the OHS Act to labour hire workers
Labour hire hosts need to be aware of the recent changes to their workplace health and safety obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. The changes took effect from 22 March 2022. This means that hosts now have the same health and safety responsibilities to labour hire workers as to their direct employees. It is important to note that providers still have their OHS duties to workers – these are not reduced by these clearer responsibilities for hosts. Visit the LHA website for further info.

LHA in 2023 – compliance focus and engagement opportunities
The Labour Hire Authority (LHA) continues to engage with industry and provide tailored opportunities for providers and hosts to learn about developments in labour hire licensing. We recently held an in-person session for horticulture and viticulture providers and hosts in the Yarra Valley. Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner, Steve Dargavel led the two-hour session highlighting legal obligations, relevant updates to legislation, and case studies, as well as addressing a range of questions. LHA will be hosting similar events across key industry areas in 2023, with a range of online and in-person events for providers, hosts, workers, and other stakeholders. Read more of this LHA article here