'Defy common sense': Court slams below award wage contractor arrangement

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    'Defy common sense': Court slams below award wage contractor arrangement

    Mr McCourt did the tasks his boss on site asked and put in 50 hour weeks. He had no ability, the court said, to run his own business given how much he was working.
    But as a contractor, Mr McCourt was paid at a rate that worked out as being about 25 per cent less than the award, which is the minimum for workers in the construction industry.

    Justice Allsop said "the notion that Mr McCourt was an independent contractor when working on the building site and that Hanssen was not liable for his negligence would defy any rational legal principle and common sense." He said if there hadn’t been a history of cases going the other way, he would rule Mr McCourt was a casual employee of the labour hire company.

    However, the court, including Justice Allsop, concluded it was bound by past rulings holding independent contracts were valid because companies had relied on their legality.



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