BSA spends $20 million to settle "sham contractor" lawsuit

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BSA spends $20 million to settle "sham contractor" lawsuit

Class action aimed at telco infrastructure services firm.

Telco infrastructure services company BSA has provisionally agreed to pay $20 million over three years to settle a class action over alleged sham contracting arrangements.

The lawsuit was brought in 2020 by Shine Lawyers on behalf of thousands of staff that Shine alleged had been misclassified as contractors rather than employees, and were owed entitlements as a result.

When it first announced the class action in August 2020, Shine’s Vicky Antzoulatos told the ABC staff were expected to bear the full cost of buying their own vehicles, tools, equipment and insurance.

A statement of claim [pdf] said the arrangements reached as far back as 2003.

The company’s technicians have carried out work for Foxtel, Optus, and NBN Co among others, and the class action involves potentially thousands of workers.

In a statement [pdf] to the ASX, BSA said a "provisional settlement" had been reached, which indicates it still requires court approval.

BSA said it would pay $4.4 million by the end of June 2022, another $6.6 million by June 30 2023, and $9 million by June 30 2024.

"The settlement will be funded by current and future operating cash flows," the company said.

BSA said the settlement "is without admission of liability".

Shine Lawyers' class action practice leader Vicky Antzoulatos confirmed the proposed settlement terms.

“Shine Lawyers believes the settlement is fair and reasonable and in the interests of our clients and all group members who were technicians for BSA between 2003 and 24 July 2020,” she said.

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