Again, as usual, ICA has been very active during the year, lobbying on issues for self-employed small business people and achieving success in a number of areas.
9 Board meetings were held during the year
ICA’s new website (www.independentcontractors.net.au) has been a major exercise, taking up considerable financial resources and time and taking some 9 months from inception to final completion. We are most pleased with the final result, with a more user-friendly website that is clearer and easier to access. Website traffic has been consistent at around 3,000 unique viewers a month.
Services: ICA’s purpose is to lobby for improved environments for independent contractors (self-employed people) We have, however, developed or are developing several services products for members. These include:
- Contract templates
- Insurance packages (developing)
- Car purchases packages (developing)
Major events in which ICA was involved during the year included:
- Thailand Regional Small Business Conference 2011
- Wellington International small business conference 2012
- National Small Business Summit Melbourne 2012
ICA has representation on some key consultative committees including:
- ATO small and micro business committee
- ATO disputes management consultative committee
- NSW procurement review consultative committee
- Liaison activities with small business commissioners from WA, Vic, NSW, SA
ICA is actively working with groups and individuals in specific industry areas, developing programmes where possible to assist resolving issues in each area. These include liaison with:
- Virtual Assistants in Australia and internationally;
- Meetings with freelance journalists who these days make up more than 70% of journalists in Australia;
- Franchise Council of Australia on fair contract and small business commissioners;
- Owner Drivers. ICA has this year reactivated Owner Drivers Australia;
- Construction industry: particularly discussions around the code of conduct in Victoria; and
- Small business finance issues, including attendance at a Reserve Bank discussions.
Submissions and lobbying
ICA’s core activity is lobbying. This year that has included:
- Small Business Commissioner Bill NSW
- Small Business reforms in Victoria
- South Australia on OHS legislation
- Victoria on OHS legislation
- Western Australia on small business commissioners, fair contracts, procurement for small business people
- Workers’ compensation reform New South Wales
- Discussions with the Queensland government on small business dispute resolution, workers’ compensation reform, and more
- Fair contracts discussions with several large businesses
- Frequent discussions with ALP and Coalition at state and federal levels
ICA is actively networking with organizations internationally. This has included:
- Contractor UK
- The peak Australian (SEAANZ) and international (ICSB) academic organizations involved in small business issues.
ICA is developing a comparative measuring tool that assesses the impact of government regulations on the ability of small business people to be entrepreneurial, the GEE Index.