Shine embarks on second investigation into ‘sham contracts’ case
Shine Lawyers has confirmed it is investigating a second “sham contracts” case – this time on behalf of telecommunication technicians against a publicly-listed technical services contracting company that holds contracts with Foxtel, Optus and NBN.
Shine has launched an investigation into BSA Limited, focusing on claims that since at least 2012 the ASX-listed company has engaged in “sham contracting” by misrepresenting the true nature of its engagement with thousands of telecommunication technicians.
According to a statement from the firm, BSA purportedly entered into sub-contracting arrangements with the technicians when in fact they were employees of BSA.
“If found to be employees, telecommunication technicians could be entitled to annual and long service leave, minimum wage, overtime, superannuation and other payments under the Fair Work Act (2009) and Telecommunications Services Award,” the statement said.
The investigation into BSA comes after the firm filed a class action against ISG Management Pty Ltd last year. The class action followed a separate investigation into the Telstra contractor, which found that it had allegedly “misrepresented to workers, in some cases long-term unemployed, homeless and indigenous Australians, the true nature of their employment arrangements, in some cases, forcing them into financial and personal hardship”.
“A sham contract is when an employer deliberately disguises an employment relationship as an independent contract to avoid paying legislated employee entitlements to its workers”, said Shine class action expert Vicky Antzoulatos.
“Unfortunately, BSA, a large Australian corporation with an annual turnover of almost $600 million, is increasingly looking to be another example in the telecommunications industry, where workers may have been signed up to sham contracting arrangements. As Shine has seen in the example of ISG Management Pty Ltd, these types of arrangements can cause financial and personal hardship for Australian workers.
“We believe our investigations will reveal that their work practices forced many contractors into financial hardship.
“We encourage all telecommunication technicians engaged by BSA from 2012 to date to register their interest in a claim on Shine’s website."