|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
Apart from administering the provisions of the Factories and Shops Act the Chief Secretary, through the Chief Inspector of Factories, became responsible in 1897 for the registration and licensing of employment agencies under the Servants' Registry Offices Act 1897 (61 Vic., No.1489). In 1900 responsibility was transferred to the Minister of Labour. Servants' registry offices were defined as any office which "carried on the business of procuring servants for employers or employment for servants". The Act only applied to manual workers and sought to protect unemployed workers against exploitation by employment exchanges The legislation provided for regulation the fees which the exchanges could charge to employers and workers.
The Act applied to servants' registry offices in the Melbourne Metropolitan District as well as to the municipal districts of Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong. Appeals against the decisions of the Chief Inspector could be heard by Courts of Petty Sessions.
The Servants' Registry Offices Act 1958 was repealed by the Labour and Industry (Amendment) Act 1966. By this time the legislation had become of little relevance as there were few exchanges remaining and the Commonwealth Employment Service had been established to offer work placement services.