The claim against Appco has several aspects, some or all of which you may have had experience with.
Sham Contracting to Disguise a Single Business
You may have signed an ICA, or you may even have been promised an incorporated Management Company of your own once you meet certain performance goals. The claim will allege that Appco, the incorporated Marketing Companies (MCs) that sit under it, and all the Independent Contractors (ICs) who were engaged to sell Appco products, are not a group of small businesses contracting with each other. The evidence indicates that the MCs and ICs were all controlled by Appco to such an extent that it was actually a single integrated business. The claim will argue that this single business used sham contracting to avoid the minimum employment entitlements that you should have received.
Unlimited Earning Potential as a Business Owner
You may have been told of your unlimited earning potential while operating your own business. But you may also have been told what to sell, how to do it, where and when, under the strict guidelines and procedures provided to you by Appco. You may have had stringent reporting requirements and performance goals. You may have been told to not submit tax returns. You may have been told to use a particular accountant and lawyer.
Business owners have absolute control over how, where and when they do business. They set their own procedures and goals. They have to take out insurance, remit GST and pay income tax. They take on the risk of running a business and, ultimately, own their share in the business. If this doesn’t sound like what you were doing at Appco, you were not running your own business. The claim will allege that rather than running your own small business, you were working for Appco as an employee, and you were entitled to minimum employment entitlements under the law.
Appco had a strict career progression model which looks like a pyramid. You may have been shown or promoted through a series of “Career Levels”, and progress through those levels promised you larger and larger sums of money. You may have had people working under you who contributed to your earnings, and in turn part of your earnings was paid to people above you. The claim will argue that the concept of a “Career” and progress through the levels of a pyramid is at odds with the suggestion that Appco’s workers were Independent Contractors or business owners. Career progression through a hierarchy of Career Levels is more akin to the experience of an employee, not someone who can freely control their own business. Employees are entitled to minimum wage and entitlements under the law.
A Rough Place to Work
You may have experienced bullying, intimidation, public shaming, undue pressure and unreasonable work hours for little pay. The claim will outline these tactics to demonstrate the control that Appco had over its workers, and ask the court to recognise that control makes those employees entitled to minimum wage.
If your experience at Appco sounds like this, it is important that you register for the class action. Every single Australian has the protection of the law and the expectation to receive minimum wage and employment entitlements. We have been contacted by many people just like you who feel they have been ripped off, and many more hardworking people will get ripped off if you don’t stand with each other, to demand justice and to be paid what you are entitled to.
If you’re feeling ripped off, it’s time to “rip it back”. Register here.