The NUW will lodge a class action on behalf of thousands of allegedly underpaid independent contractors who worked for four contract and marketing companies, namely Aida Sales & Marketing Pty Ltd, Credico Australia Pty Ltd, Global Interactive Group Pty Ltd and PCA Group Pty Ltd. The companies are alleged to have represented some of Australia's major corporates and charities, including Telstra, Optus, AGL, Astron and The Red Cross.
It is expected that the class action will be lodged in the Federal Court of Australia this December under section 539 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) ("FW Act"). In addition, the class action will be the first Australian class action to rely upon section 550 of the FW Act, which provides that a person who is "involved in" a contravention of the FW Act is held responsible for that contravention. This means that if any of those corporates or charities that were represented by the contract and marketing companies were "involved in" the alleged underpayments, they will be liable under the FW Act. We discuss section 550 of the FW Act in more detail in our article "Employer and HR Manager Penalised for Underpayment of Wages" below.