Shine Lawyers has filed a class action lawsuit against ISG Management Pty Ltd (ISGM), alleging the company exploited workers – including long-term unemployed, homeless and Indigenous Australians – by misrepresenting the nature of their employment, forcing them into financial hardship.
ISGM, now known as Tandem, allegedly hired workers as sub-contractors when they should have been hired as employees with the appropriate rights. Taking advantage of the taxpayer-funded Australian Apprenticeships Access Program, Tandem allegedly made workers set up their own companies and take out loans to pay for essentials like tools and transport.
ISGM/Tandem is one of the country’s largest private firms, with contracts with Telstra, Foxtel and NBN and an annual turnover of more than $600 million 1.
“In our view, ISG Management took advantage of its bargaining power and exercised total control and direction over the employment of these workers including where they worked, the jobs they worked on, the clothes they wore to work, the branding on their vehicles, the methods of work they were required to follow, such that they were actually employees rather than independent contractors,” said Vicky Antzoulatos, Shine Lawyers’ Special Counsel, Class Actions.
“The conduct that will be alleged in the proceedings has had a devastating impact on our clients’ lives to the point where some workers have attempted to take their own lives. These workers deserve to be adequately and quickly compensated for what they have had to endure at the hands of this large Australian corporation.”
Approximately 4000 workers are believed to be eligible to join the action for compensation. Shine Lawyers encourages anyone who worked for ISGM/Tandem from 2011 onwards to register with this action so that you and your families can receive adequate compensation.
To register, fill out the form below or call 1800 752 617.
The class action alleges that ISG Management misrepresented the nature of their employment in order to take advantage of young jobseekers. This includes long-term unemployed jobseekers referred to ISGM by Centrelink-approved job network providers.
ISGM trained the new recruits to become telecommunications technicians working on, among other things, the Telstra network. Despite claims the workers were employees and therefore entitled to such benefits as minimum wage and annual leave under the Commonwealth Fair Work Act, ISGM allegedly employed them as independent contractors instead.
Upon completion of the training, trainees were allegedly told they needed to establish businesses in their own names and purchase up to $60,000 worth of equipment in order to begin work. This equipment included vehicles and tools for the job.
Trainees who did not have the money available were referred to Macquarie, who raised loans of up to $60,000. With businesses to run and no guarantee of regular work in the future, this put many of them in debt that they found themselves unable to pay back.
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Written by Shine Lawyers on November 22, 2018. Last modified: December 14, 2018.