National law firm Slater & Gordon is investigating a possible class action against the Church of Scientology over claims the organisation has for many years underpaid its workers.
Steven Lewis, practice group leader commercial litigation, said the firm had spent the past year investigating the organisation after receiving complaints from several former Scientology members.
“We have come to the view that former Scientology members were in fact employees and there has been a policy not to pay them proper wages and entitlements,” Mr Lewis said.
“This could mean they are entitled to back pay, superannuation contributions, holiday pay and overtime.
“We are now at the point where we are calling on former members who worked with the organisation since 2005 to contact us on a confidential basis to discuss possible claims against the organisation.”
Mr Lewis said he was currently unable to estimate the size of a claim against the organisation or the possible number of claimants.
“What we have been told by former members is that for years the organisation exploited many of its workers by calling them volunteers despite being required to perform a range of work for little or no pay.
“Scientology is no different to any other employer in this country, it is obliged to pay wages and other entitlements under the law and the relevant award.
“This isn’t about attacking beliefs, it is about being paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work,” Mr Lewis said.