Builder Clawing Back Commissions Unfairly?

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David Sun

2 July 2014
Hello Good People,

Hitting a brick wall here with my former employer...

I was a sales consultant for a well known Perth builder, paid by retainer as an advance on future commissions. Consultants work under a contract that has the retainer advanced via PAYG. (this in itself produced many questions I could never get answered e.g. how is holiday and sick pay compensated or offset etc. against statutory requirements)

Commissions are paid after building contracts are signed by the client, and finance goes unconditional.

I was short paid this month by over $3.5k and told that the commission for a deal finalised (contracts and finance) several months ago, had been cancelled by the client and the builder was clawing back the commission. There is nothing in my contract about this situation. I had fulfiled my contractual obligations and was greatly taken aback.

Further more, the amount was deducted without my fore knowledge, (but for a one-line email 12 hours before hand). This also seems inappropriate as my understanding as a former employer of staff is that there needs to be fair communication and even the option to pay back (if indeed liable) by arrangement if need be.

I phoned and emailed several times seeking qualification of the legal correctness of the claw back (again I can't find anywhere in my contract that seems to cover this) and the method of action. I was pretty much left on hold all day and then advised late in the day that it was a business decision and that it was in line contract I had signed, that my questions were not going to be answered and if I wasn't happy I could pursue through external channels. I wasn't even offered an explanation or line of appeal through HR or senior management.

The situation has put me under financial and emotional duress, as I had made arrangements with my landlord and creditors to settle outstanding/late payments with those funds, and was left in the lurch.

I am seeking advice (please) on what regulatory bodies I can contact for advice and support, assuming it will not be cost effective to go through the court system?

Kind regards and thanks in advance.


Well-Known Member
25 April 2014