A 'sham arrangement' is where your employer tells you that you are an independent contractor when you are really an employee. Your employer must not ask you to enter into a sham arrangement.
Your employer must not dismiss or threaten to dismiss you so they can rehire you as an independent contractor.
Whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor depends on a number of things. Someone who is an independent contractor might:
Someone who is an employee might:
If the list above suggests to you that you are an employee, but the person you work for is calling you an independent contractor, this might be a 'sham arrangement'.
If you were dismissed from your job, you may be able to make a number of different claims against your employer. Before you make any claims or applications, you should get
legal advice to help you work out what is the right option for you.
The Fair Work Commission (the Commission) will hold a conference to try and settle the dispute. If this does not end the problem, you can apply to the Federal Circuit Court to ask for an order.
The Federal Circuit Court can order that:
If you want to make a general protections dismissal application to the Commission, you must do so within 21 days of the date you were dismissed.
If you are not sure whether your employer has broken laws about general protections in the workplace, you should get
legal advice. If you have been dismissed or are having problems at work, you may have other options, such as:
Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Fair Work Act are the sections that apply to sham arrangements. When filling out your general protections application form for the Commission, you will need to refer to this section of the Act.
For answers to commonly asked questions, see
What are general protections? - Frequently Asked Questions.