Sham Contract Lawyers

Sham contracting is the term applied to an agreement between an employer and employee to mislead others to believe that the parties do not have an employee-employer relationship.

It is observed to be objectionable conduct, or arrangement because it denies the economic and social benefits bound in an employee-employer relationship. It is often regarded as more beneficial to the employers to enter into these arrangements because sometimes the employee, otherwise known as a contractor or sub-contractor, loses many of the rights conferred by statues such as:

  • The Fair Work Act
  • The Accident Compensation Act
  • The Superannuation Guarantee Act; and
  • The Income Tax Assessment Act

Usually, the laws aim to strike a balance of benefit and responsibilities. Persons who seek to force others out of this protective arrangement, or who collude to mutually avoid legal rights and responsibilities, end up paying a high price if they are found to have done so.

McDonald Murholme can provide advice objectively and at short notice to employees who fear they may be caught up in a sham contracting arrangement. At McDonald Murholme we can help employees identify genuine contractual arrangements as distinct from artificial arrangements, or sham contracting.

Employees must recognise that in one industry what will be seen as genuine sub-contracting, may in very similar circumstances in a different industry be regarded as sham contracting. The criteria for assessing a sham contracting arrangement, and the application of the criteria, is sometimes confusing for that reason.

If you are a party concerned that you are not being paid employee benefits but are in fact under the sole control of one employer you would be wise to take advice and have us make an assessment for you.

Our clients' satisfaction is pivotal to our own success.

  • July 2020

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McDonald Murholme. From the initial consultation, right through to the resolution process, the entire team was supportive, knowledgable and approachable and made what can be a difficult situation much easier. Specifically Trent and Alexandra provided a high level of service, and engaged with me in a very personable manner. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received.
  • July 2020

    I couldn't recommend the team from McDonald Murholme more. Mr Sam Nottle was efficient, professional and achieved a wonderful result. If you are questioning whether to go ahead with an employment matter legally, I would urge you to do so. The team at McDonald Murholme made the process easy & reduced all of my anxiety and stress. Thank you again, Mr Nottle & team, I can't express my appreciation enough.
  • June 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • May 2020

    Extremely happy with the service received from all the staff members i had to deal with. The lawyer allocated for my case (Michael Kriewaldt) was extremely professional and handled the case very smoothly. Highly recommend their services.
  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • April 2020

    The solicitors at the firm were very prompt and actioned my complaint against my employer very quickly. I obtained the result I wanted, in fact, I got a better result than what I had originally asked for. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend McDonald Murholme.
  • March 2020

    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Sham Contract?

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

Frequently asked sham contracting questions

I commenced work as an employee but was later transferred to a contractor. How do I know if this is a genuine transfer?

For the transfer to be genuine, a significant change to the treatment of your employment must be established to ensure that it does not give rise to a sham contract arrangement.

How can I distinguish between an employee and a contractor?

There are multiple factors which indicate whether a worker is either an employee or contractor however, control is the main factor. The element of control focuses on how the work is done and who controls it. If the employer controls most of the work, it is more likely that the worker is an employee.

If I can establish that I am an employee, will I be back-paid for my entitlements?

If the worker has been wrongly classified as a contractor, they are entitled to be back paid all of their employment entitlements for up to 6 years.

Am I eligible to lodge an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission?

Only employees are eligible to lodge unfair dismissal applications. If you apply for an unfair dismissal application, your employer may submit a jurisdictional objection to your claim. You will be required to prove your employment status before proceeding with the unfair dismissal claim.

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.