Company collapse leaves employees out of pocket

A BALLARAT company hiring vulnerable workers has collapsed, leaving former employees owed thousands of dollars.

Job referral company C James Only, which was registered on April 28 this year, employed dozens of people – the majority of them receiving welfare benefits – in telemarketing and sales positions before reportedly going under this month.

Documents obtained by The Courier show that, if successful, the company could have claimed more than $50,000 in government subsidies for employing people on disability support pensions and the Newstart allowance. 

It is believed no subsidies have been granted to the company.

Director Colin James Medley said the company went under after a business deal soured. “It was my intention to pay the employees. The financial backer pulled the funding,” he said.

Mr Medley said the company had gone into receivership, making it difficult to pay the workers. 

Many of the workers attended employment forums and group interviews at job agencies, and were told they would earn $21 an hour, working part-time from home as a sales representative for C James Only.

Jobs were also advertised on jobsearch.gov.au and gumtree.com.au

Former workers Anita and Luke, who asked that their surnames not be published, said they were hired as telemarketers and made dozens of phone calls from their own phones with the promise of being reimbursed.

The pair claimed to be owed hundreds of dollars.

“We are pretty pissed off,” Luke, a student, said.

“We worked our arses off and have bills to pay, to the stage where we are selling personal property to get by.”

Consumer Affairs Victoria director Claire Noone said if the availability, nature or terms and conditions of employment had been misrepresented, an offence might have been committed under Australian law. 

Ms Noone urged people to call Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 558 181 for more information.

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