Media Release: Legal action taken against Victorian company for allegedly using unlicensed labour hire providers

11 July 2023
Media Release: Legal action taken against Victorian company for allegedly using unlicensed labour hire providers

The Labour Hire Authority (LHA) has commenced legal action alleging a Victorian company
sourced workers for farms in the Cobram area through unlicensed labour hire providers.

LHA alleges that labour hire company Honey Bunny Global Pty Ltd subcontracted work to seven
unlicensed labour hire providers, and that the company’s director, Surawadee Tanchote, was knowingly
concerned in, or a party to the contravention.

The alleged contravention carries maximum penalties of over $590,000 for a company and $145,000 for
an individual – the highest monetary penalties applicable under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic).

Under the Act, the same maximum penalties apply whether a business provides unlicensed labour hire
services, or engages another company to provide unlicensed services.

The prosecution is the latest in a series of recent LHA compliance and enforcement actions in Victoria’s
horticulture industry, including:

  • the largest ever total penalty for breaches of labour hire law in Australian history issued against a
    horticulture company and its director in December 2022, following a successful prosecution
  • proceedings filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria in May 2023, alleging a company provided
    workers to pick fruit and vegetables in Victorian regions without a labour hire licence
  • licensing actions taken against businesses operating in a range of Victorian regions.

The actions are part of an expanded program of compliance and enforcement by the regulator, targeting significant harms to workers and high-risk industries including horticulture, meat and poultry processing, commercial cleaning and security.

Under the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2018 (Vic), labour hire providers operating in Victoria must be
licensed, and host businesses must only use licensed providers. The legislation was introduced following
findings of widespread exploitation and unlawful activity in Victoria’s labour hire sector.

Businesses can check whether a labour hire provider is licensed, and subscribe to be notified of any
changes in licence status, on the LHA website:

Quotes attributable to Labour Hire Licensing Commissioner, Steve Dargavel:

“Any business attempting to hide unlawful behaviour through subcontracting is on notice – the Labour
Hire Authority has sophisticated capabilities, we will identify you, and we will take action against you.”

“Victorian businesses need to be aware that the same significant penalties apply for engaging another
company to provide unlicensed labour hire services as for providing those services yourself.”

“Ensuring all Victorian labour hire companies are licensed is an essential way of protecting workers and
improving the fairness and integrity of the industry.”

For any queries regarding this release, please contact the LHA Media Team on 0400
301 840 or