Have you worked at a sales and marketing company and been unfairly treated?
Adero is running several claims in the direct sales and marketing industry against Appco, AIDA, Credico and Global Interactive for wage underpayments and other unfair treatment in the workplace.
On 20 October 2016, Rory Markham filed a class action lawsuit against Appco Group Australia Pty Ltd on behalf of Mr Jacob Bywater. The claim alleges 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.
Instead, Mr Bywater alleges that the MCs and ICs were all controlled by Appco to such an extent that it was actually a single integrated business. The claim argues that this single business engages individuals as independent contractors and therefore does not pay the minimum employment entitlements that should have been received.
Appco is one of Australia’s largest direct sales and marketing companies, providing services for various well-known companies including charities, energy service providers and other commercial enterprises.
The class action against Appco has been brought by Mr Jacob Bywater, on behalf of himself and hundreds of direct sales and marketing workers in the same or similar circumstances to him within the Appco business (claimants). Mr Bywater has instructed Adero that after putting in 100 to 120 hours a week during his time with Appco his 2015 tax return displayed an income of only $29,000.
The class action is progressing through the Court process and is currently in the discovery phase of the proceeding. Adero anticipates that this class action will be listed for a final hearing in 2020.
“In April 2017, I told you that Appco’s attack on our claim was pointless. I did not say this lightly. I am proud to say that in May 2018 the Federal Court dismissed Appco’s challenge in every materiel respect. This was an enormous win. We are unleashing all the evidence that will expose how the Appco system operates, where the profits are going and how thousands of Australians were underpaid. It will be extensive and shocking for any reasonable person to hear.”– Rory Markham, Adero Law’s Managing Principal.
Anyone who was engaged as an independent contractor working for Appco from 20 October 2010 can still register for this class action.
Please contact Adero Law via the “Register Interest” button to receive further information about your options and legal rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although circumstances can vary, the general structure of a class action proceeding run by Adero Law is as follows:
- A wrongdoing occurs that affects a group of people (claimants) in a similar way.
- Adero’s Claim Origination team investigate the wrongdoing by conducting due diligence investigations and liaising with a lead claimant.
- The claim is filed in Court.
- Claimants enter into a litigation funding agreement with a third-party litigation funder willing to finance the class action on the claim is basis.
- Pleadings and other Court documents are finalised and filed with the Court.
- Claimants have a chance to opt-out of the class action.
- Evidence is compiled and the claim is prepared for trial.
- If appropriate, mediation or settlement discussions take place between the parties.
- If a settlement agreement is not reached, the claim proceeds to trial.
- Once a settlement agreement has been reached, claimants are notified, and a timetable put in place for any objections or submissions to be made ahead of a hearing.
- A settlement hearing occurs.
- If the settlement is approved, a distribution scheme will be implemented under the guidance of the Court.
No. The litigation funder will cover legal fees on a no-win no-fee basis regardless of the outcome of the case. You will not have to personally pay Adero Law or the litigation funder any monies unless you are successful, in which case the only money you will pay to the funder will come from any successful outcome you receive. You will not have to pay anything more than what you receive.
Yes. Only the lead claimant will be named in the class action. Your name will not be made public unless you have specifically consented.
Whilst individual circumstances will vary, Adero undertakes due diligence in relation to likely damages calculations. The amount of underpayment varies depending on the claim being brought, such as a breach of the enterprise agreement or a breach of the National Employment Standards, and the hourly rates used.
Adero will make every effort to recover all potential underpayments owing to members of a class action (claimants). Claimants should be aware that the recovery of any underpayment will be subject to terms of the funding agreement, which provides for a return on investment to the funder. For more information on the terms of the funding agreement of any current class action, please request an FAQ Sheet by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting (02) 6189 1022.
No. It is the third-party litigation funder that receives a return on investment if a class action is successful, as they are the party that bears the risk.
No. Your employer cannot terminate your employment for participating in a class action. This will amount to an adverse action. Moreover, your name will not be disclosed without your express consent. This means that your employer cannot know you joined an action unless you tell them, you tell someone else or instruct us to disclose your name. We do not identify our clients, not even to other members of the action.
No. The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) s 340 prevents employers from treating you differently for exercising your workplace rights. It is unlawful to punish an employee in any way for joining a class action. If you believe this has happened to you, contact us at Adero Law and we will promptly investigate.
No. Both union members and non-members are encouraged to join so that we can win back the entitlements that are owed to everyone.
Yes. Our claimants include current and past workers.