The Federal Government has withdrawn one of its WorkChoices advertisements after an actor who also ran a painting business was accused of failing to pay one of his staff.
In the ad, painter Damien Richardson appears as a concerned father who has been told employers can rip off kids.
But former employee Erin Gebert says he is still owed $2,000 in wages and superannuation by Mr Richardson.
Of course, the ACTU are just about pointing and laughing. It appears that the employee in this case was told he was a "subcontractor", and that he'd have to invoice for his time and provide an ABN in order to be paid. Employee says he was under the impression he was on an apprenticeship. The ombudsman is looking into things, while the Howard government attempts to clear the egg off their faces. It isn't mentioned in the story whether this employee was employed before or after the Howard government brought in their "work choices" legislation (if before, then this is a loophole which may or may not have been cleared up later; if after, the ALP are ninnies if they don't grab this and run with it).
I think I shall track this one just a little...
Later the same day:
Looks like this isn't an isolated incident with this particular person.
WorkChoices actor accused by second employee
What makes this second story quite interesting is that the person in question is apparently rather deeply in debt:
Mr Richardson admits he does owe money to several businesses, and is going through a debt counsellor.
"We have to sort of sit down with these companies and work out whether I can afford to pay them back or we look at bankruptcy or whatever, so they're going to be my options," he said.
Sounds to me more like we have a rip-off artist at work than any other sort. He seems to think the ombudsman will come down in his favour (although how much of that is bravado and attempting to dodge reality is a different question).
I'll keep an eye on this story. I believe further developments will be ... interesting.
Australian Business Number - a GST registration item
Goods & Services Tax - the ATO generates these like clockwork
Australian Taxation Office.