'Sham contracts': GP practices accused of receptionist rorts

GP practices are employing receptionists on so-called "sham contracts" to avoid paying annual or sick leave, lawyers claim.

A Senate inquiry into corporate avoidance of the Fair Work Act has exposed extensive "sham contracting", wherein people working as employes are classed as independent contractors.

The practice - believed to be rife in the cleaning and construction industries - is also happening in white-collar sectors of healthcare, says Anastasia Polites, a lawyer at Legal Aid NSW.