Department of Health

Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020

Changes to the regulations

From 15 February 2023, changes will commence that clarify, and allow regulation of, labour hire accommodation under a public health framework.

Changes to the Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020: New definition and class of labour hire accommodation.

Changes to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008: Strengthened definition of prescribed accommodation and proprietor (in relation to labour hire accommodation).

Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020, prescribed accommodation businesses include:

  • hotels and motels
  • hostels
  • student dormitories
  • holiday camps
  • rooming houses
  • residential accommodation
  • labour hire accommodation (from February 2023).

Prescribed accommodation providers are required to meet hygiene, maintenance and other standards and requirements to minimise public health risk that may arise from shared use of facilities, high turnover of occupants and/or overcrowding.

The objective of the regulations is to set out the standards necessary to minimise the public health risks associated with prescribed accommodation.

Changes to the regulations

New class of labour hire accommodation (February 2023)

The regulation changes define and prescribe a new class of labour hire accommodation.

Labour hire accommodation means any house, building, structure or site (including any shared facilities on a site), whether temporary or permanent, used to provide accommodation for a worker under, or in connection with, a labour hire arrangement with that worker. It applies to four or more workers.

The definition also includes examples of common labour hire situations. The new class of labour hire accommodation is designed to be used only if another class of prescribed accommodation does not apply. This means, for example, that a hostel that provides accommodation to both backpackers and labour hire workers should be registered as a hostel.

There have also been changes to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to strengthen the definition of prescribed accommodation and proprietor in relation to labour hire accommodation. 

What the changes mean

The changes mean that proprietors of labour hire accommodation will be required to:

  • register their labour hire accommodation with the local council under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
  • meet cleanliness, maintenance and other standards under the Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020, which intend to minimise public health risks that may arise from shared use of facilities and overcrowding.

An information sheet for labour hire accommodation providers and councils can be found below.

Documentation

Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Amendment Regulations 2022

Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment Act 2022

From 15 February 2023, all changes can be found at:

Public Health and Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2020

Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008

Reviewed 09 January 2023

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