A FORMER Thermomix contractor in Perth is suing the company, claiming her business was taken away without compensation.
Thermomix kitchen machines are sold during in-home demonstrations by consultants, who get a commission.
Consultants are independent contractors who manage their own business, rather than employees of Thermomix, the WA District Court heard on Monday.
The consultants are managed by group leaders, who also earn a commission from the sales.
The more consultants a group leader recruits, trains and manages, the more money they make.
Elisabeth Higgins joined Thermomix in 2007 and became a group leader in 2008.
A boundary change was later made without her agreement and consultants were transferred away from Ms Higgins’ area of leadership, the court heard.
Ms Higgins’ lawyer Craig Slater said that was the “first clue that something was awry”, adding the action taken by Thermomix was different to what was represented in the company’s manual as the usual process for making such changes.
Ms Higgins expressed her concerns, but kept working because she had a business to run, he said.
Thermomix later dumped Ms Higgins from her role as a group leader in 2014 with two weeks’ notice.
Her contract as a consultant was terminated a couple of months later.
The trial continues.