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How can I recognise sham contracting?

Liam asks: I’ve been doing the same work for about 10 years. In 2010 someone bought the business and told me I’d have to get an ABN. He said I would be self-employed. I did this because I needed to keep my job. That’s the only thing that’s changed though I still work about 35 hours a week and my pay’s the same. My mate told me I was being ripped off but my wages haven’t dropped.

How do I complain about unpleasant odours?

Eva asks: I am a cleaner and we clean toilets and showers. In the spare toilet block we keep chemicals and cleaning equipment and there is toilet water leaking all over that has a horrible odour to it. This water lies around for days sometimes weeks and we have to walk through it to get to the cleaning products and mops. I’m really worried about health issues and possibly contracting something. I have made complaints to management but they will not listen.

Am I being paid correctly under my award?

Leon asks: My employer says she doesn’t have to pay me the amount set down in the Award as when I started working for her the Award said I was paid at a lower rate. She said the amount I was employed under is the correct amount and still applies. Is this true? I’ve been here for three years.

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