The United Australia Party candidate for the Eden-Monaro has offered to pay volunteers $11 an hour on election day - as well as give them a cap and T-shirt.
In two posts to social media, one to his personal Facebook page and another to the Cooma Notice Board Facebook page, Chandra Singh advertised for "helpers" to distribute how to vote cards on election day.
In the posts, he said for eight to nine hours work they will receive $100 for lunch and incidentals, as well as a cap and a T-shirt.
The Fair Work Ombudsman states the national minimum wage is $18.93.
The approximate 25 per cent casual loading on that would mean causal workers were entitled to about $23 per hour, while Mr Singh is proposing paying about $11 per hour.
But speaking to the Bega District News on Tuesday, May 14, Mr Singh said he was looking for volunteers, not employees, and the $100 was to cover their travel costs and pay for their lunch.
"It's a reimbursement, not a pay," he said.
"When people message me, I'm upfront and say I need help.
"I'm surprised, I've had quite a few people volunteering, so there's a lot of silent supporters."
Mr Singh said with a background in trade unions he was confident he was not breaking any laws surrounding workers' rights.
"It's a negative campaign that's been started by the trade unions and other parties," he said.
"They are worried the United Australia Party is actually a threat to them."
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said candidates and parties choosing to engage paid supporters rather than genuine campaign volunteers at polling booths needed to obey the law.
"Everyone has a right to be paid fairly for their work and receive all legal entitlements," the spokesperson said.
"Election day is no exception.
"It is illegal to pay people $11 per hour for any form of work."
A Fair Work Ombudsman spokesperson said whether a worker handing out flyers was a volunteer or employee would depend on the specific circumstances of the worker's engagement and the work performed.
"In circumstances where a worker is an employee, the employee will be entitled to minimum pay rates and entitlements for their work under Australian workplace laws," they said.
"An employee's minimum pay rates and entitlements will also depend on their specific circumstances, noting an employee handing out flyers is likely to be covered by the Miscellaneous Award 2010."
Any worker with concerns can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman by clicking here or by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.