Companies use sham contracting so they can avoid giving an employee their working rights and entitlements.
In 2009, the number of independent contractors in construction grew by seven point six per cent, even though employment in the industry declined by four point nine.
By disguising employment relationships as independent contracts, companies avoid paying payroll tax. The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union estimates that tax revenue leakage attributable to sham contracting in construction may be two point five billion per year.
John Collins is a bricklayer who has had firsthand experience with this. Now fifty two, John is look at his retirement and the effect sham contracting has had on his retirement.
Your Rights at Night producer Dominic Mugavin caught up with John and started by asking him what it’s like for subcontractors in the workforce today.
For more information on this issue see http://www.bricklayaustralia.com/ or visit the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union’s website at http://www.cfmeu.asn.au/ and search for ‘Stop the Sham’.