Employment Law – Background
Putland v Royans Wagga Pty Limited is a clear example of sham contracting. In this case, the Federal Court of Australia decided that a husband and wife who performed largely home-based clerical work for one company were employees, not independent contractors.
Employment Law – Facts
- The couple were employed by a truck repair company, Royans Wagga Pty Ltd
- The couple’s relationship with Royans began in 2005, when the wife worked in the business’ offices monitoring accidents
- In 2008, the husband helped provide the 24 hour, 7 days a week ‘accident reporting service’ which was based either at their home or in a demountable shed on the business’ premises at various times
- However in 2015, Royans outsourced the service to an independent call centre
- Since 2007, any contract between the parties was described as “partly oral and partly in writing”. However, Royans argued that the couple had been independent contractors at all times