Appco class action is “flimsy” and “lacks foundation”
Posted at 1:55 pm
It is now clear that the class action initiated by a Canberra law firm against Appco Group Australia does not include, or seek any compensation for, bullying and harassment.
However, Appco Group Australia Chief Executive Officer Mr Martin Gaffney said Appco Australia is continuing to treat any reports of bullying and harassment extremely seriously and is now implementing a series of robust measures to:
- prevent and identify behaviours that could be perceived as bullying and harassment
- implement and better promote processes and avenues for people to report bullying, harassment and any other workplace health and safety concerns.
These actions were set out in full in a separate media release today.
Appco Australia has still not been served with a statement of claim, but has now obtained a copy of court papers, which confirm the class action is against Appco Group Australia only. The claim does not name or seek any compensation from any other party.
“It is now clear that the class action is attempting to demonstrate that the independent contractor model is an employer-employee relationship and, therefore, that individuals are entitled to payments and benefits provided under workplace law,” Mr Gaffney said.
“We believe the case against us is flimsy and there is no legal basis for the allegations of so-called ‘sham contracting’ made against us or the marketing companies with which we contract.”
Mr Gaffney said Appco Australia will defend its business structure and the independent contractor model vigorously. If the courts or governments changed the law, Appco Australia would comply completely, but the community needed to consider the serious consequences for fundraising by Australia’s charities if that were to happen.
Media enquiries: Michael Smith 0411 055 306