On 21 December 2018, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) advised that it had initiated civil proceedings against employment relations company Employsure Pty Ltd for allegedly misleading small business consumers that it was, or was affiliated with, a government agency when that was not the case; and for allegedly engaging in unconscionable conduct towards four small businesses, including pressuring individuals to sign up to long-term contracts for a significant fee that contained unfair terms that made it difficult for small businesses to exit.

This move by ACCC follows previous action taken by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to alert users to complaints it had received relating to Employsure Pty Ltd.

While the allegations made against Employsure are particularly concerning, Master Builders notes that the services provided on a fee-for-service basis by other private service providers on industrial relations and workplace relations matters are often provided at no cost as part of your Master Builders membership, with other assistance provided at a subsidised member-rate.

Our IR team has helped a number of its small business members in recent times out of difficulties associated with those members having acted on sub-standard, generic advice that they have paid for from private providers.

Master Builders therefore encourages its small business members in particular to touch base with our industry specialists in the IR team in the first instance on any industrial relations or workplace relations- related query.

Members seeking further advice and assistance on workplace relations matters should contact the IR department on (03) 9411 4560.