Victorians are being warned about businesses making false employment and training promises, as one business has been ordered to pay $10,000 compensation to a job seeker.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has received more than 240 enquiries and complaints about employment and training schemes which guarantee a job in the last six months.
M+K Lawyers partner Andrew Douglas told SmartCompany some recruitment companies target vulnerable individuals and guarantee them that they’ll find them a job in exchange for a fee.
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“There are specific recruiters doing dodgy stuff. We’ve come across this issue from time to time,” he says.
“The issue is there are a number of recruiting businesses getting people to undertake training for jobs they’ll never deliver and making them pay for their services.”
Earlier this week the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court ordered Dynasty Global’s sole director, Andrew Sackl, to pay nearly $10,000 to a job seeker after the business failed to deliver on its promise of employment and did not provide the client a refund.
Dynasty Global was fined an additional $3000 and Sackl was also given a 12-month good behaviour undertaking.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director Claire Noone said in a statement students need to be cautious when using recruitment agencies.
“Discovering that an employment company has made false promises can be heartbreaking as well as expensive,” Noone says.
“This is especially true when a company ‘guarantees’ to find jobs that will help with skilled migration or student visas.”
Noone says recruitment company payments can often amount to thousands of dollars.
“Be especially alert if you’re looking for jobs in popular industries such as mining, modelling or acting,” she says.
DNL Security Australia was also found by the courts to have made false representations to two jobseekers by guaranteeing them employment.
The court granted injunctions to stop DNL Security, and its related company Skilltopia, from making such guarantees in the future.
But Douglas says despite these cases, the issue generally goes unreported and unpunished.
“There are two sets of laws, state and federal, which deal with misrepresentation like this, but they’re often such a vulnerable group of individuals they often don’t pursue it because of the embarrassment that comes with it in admitting you didn’t get a job,” he says.
“There are two take homes from this. If you’re an employee seeking work and you go to a less well-known recruiter and they make you promises and tell you to take training, make sure it’s a legitimate employer as the end of it before you undertake the process.”
Noone says if jobseekers are considering using employment or training service providers
“Always do your homework. Check the company’s reputation and what other providers offer. Never pay upfront for mandatory training if you do not know the employer’s name and the job locations, and check if the service uses a registered training provider,” she says.
“Be wary of employment placement companies that charge to obtain a skilled migration visa, as these costs are typically paid by the sponsoring employer.”