The Albanese federal government has a plan and agenda to (effectively) outlaw your right to be your own boss, to be self-employed. It is doing this under the banner of ‘employee-like’. The government says that if you are self-employed but ‘employee-like’, they will force you into the employment (industrial relations) system. We oppose this.
The 284-page highly complex Loophole Bill was presented on 4 September 2023. It has passed the lower house and is now being reviewed by the Senate. If the Coalition opposition and six of the seven independent Senators reject the legislation, it will not pass in the Senate. Our objective is to have this defeat occur.
Here we explain our reasons (YouTube, 19 Minutes):
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We’re active asking the Senators to oppose the Bill. This means multiple trips to Canberra. $500 (approx.) pays for a return airfare.
Contribute here so we can continue our full-on campaign.
The Loophole Bill
Click here for the website of the Senate Committee that is reviewing the Bill. Our submission to the inquiry is here.
We’ve prepared detailed analysis papers on key parts of the Bill. (Current as of 27 October). These have been incorporated into our Senate submission above.
- Response to Senate Questions—Competition/Big Business
- Overturning common law—High Court rejection.
- Turning self-employees into employees
- Trashing casuals’ incomes
- Attacking owner-drivers
In summary: The Bill overrides the High Court’s determinations on ‘employee vs self-employment’. It breaches Australia’s International Labour Organisation obligations to protect the status of self-employment. It overrides Australia’s competition laws and limits the power of Australia’s competition regulator (the ACCC). It defines the commercial contract as an employment contract. It regulates self-employed people as employees. It regulates digital platforms (the gig economy) to remove their commercial basis. It regulates owner-drivers as employees.
It attacks the incomes of casual workers (2.7 million people) and the incomes of self-employed independent contractors (1.2 million people) and gig workers (970,000 people).
Campaign updates from 6 September 2023 onwards (after the Loophole Bill)
- Thank goodness for the independents! Loophole Bill is a huge PILL (24 November 2023)
- Loophole Bill – State of play (20 November 2023)
- You don’t save something by destroying it! (13 November 2023)
- Historic day for small business people – Real unfair contract protections (9 November 2023)
- Update from Parliament: Loophole (IR) Bill (3 November 2023)
- Defend your right (and the right of anyone) to be your own boss (27 October 2023)
- Trashing casuals’ incomes – The Loophole Bill (23 October 2023)
- Independent Senators – Your small business future in their hands (18 October 2023)
- What the Loophole (IR) Bill means for you – some detail (11 October)
- A bill to destroy self-employed small businesses across Australia (2 October)
- Make the gander do what the goose must do (13 September 2023)
- Breaking News – Anti-self-employed IR Bill delayed (7 September 2023)
- A spaghetti bowl of complexity. The new IR Bill (6 September 2023)
We responded to the governments ‘consultation’ paper April 2023
- Here’s our large (11,000 word) submission to the government explaining why its plan is so bad.
- Here’s our summary (4 pages).
Ken Phillips gives a simple 5-minute explanation:
Campaign updates before 6 September 2023 (before the Loophole Bill)
- Right to Be Your Own Boss – Sign the Petition (31 August 2023)
- In praise of self-employed people – Common sense needed (25 August 2023
- Working from Home is making us our own bosses! (13 August 2023)
- 100,000 (plus) hear the message – Self-employed under attack (6 July 2023)
- War Against Tradies (29 June 2023)
- Common sense about ‘Gig’ from the Victorian government (22 June 2023)
- Campaigning is under way—Defending your right to Be Your Own Boss (7 June 2023)
- Labor’s ‘employee-like’ agenda assaults competition law (21 May 2023)
- Labor’s agenda to outlaw the self-employed – Here it comes (7 May 2023)
- Labour to deny self-employed access to protections (30 March 2023)
- Defending the self-employed: 2023 Campaign to counter the creeping attack (22 March 2023)
Related campaign info
For 20+ years SEA has been campaigning to defend everyone’s right to be their own boss should they wish. Over those years we’ve built a huge body of work and information:
What is an independent contractor (members only)