Independent Contractors Australia can rightly claim BIG success in achieving Unfair Contract protections for small business people. We started campaigning in 2009. You can see the unfolding of our campaign below. But no campaign succeeds because of one party. Our big thanks also to Robert Gottliebsen, Bruce Billson and the Senators who helped us during 2015. The laws came into effect on 12 November 2016.
Protecting yourself from Unfair Contracts
- If you think you have an unfair contract, please contact us. We’re the experts in the field. We’ll see what we can do to help.
- Here’s the Act.
- Here’s what make a contract clause unfair: What the Unfair Contract laws actually do
- Australian Consumer and Competition Commission info is here.
- ACCC hotline is 1300 302 021. Its website: www.accc.gov.au/contact-us/contact-the-accc/report-a-small-business-issue
Here’s ABC TV, The Business short summary of the new laws.
Beefing up Unfair Contract laws 2019-2020
- SEA Submission to Treasury on Enhancing Unfair Contract Terms (March 2020)
- Labor takes bold move (29 January 2019) Policy recommends: (a) Unfair contracts illegal (b) fines for breach (c) Eligibility extended to businesses with up to $10m turnover (d) Contracts to $1m (up from $300k). SEA endorses.
- The government is reviewing the laws. Treasury discussion paper (November 2018)
- SEA submission (December 2018)
Unfair contract laws info update: 2017
- Well done, NAB (October)
- Banks forced to change their small business contracts (June)
- ACCC forces Sensis to change contracts.
- Federal government amends their standard form contracts to comply with unfair contract laws (April).
Here’s the contract.
- NAB destroys its small business brand (March)
Unfair contract laws info update: 2016
- 8-10 million contracts need to be changed (13 November 2016)
- Unfair contract protections begin (12 November 2016)
- Why the laws are a game-changer. Article from Robert Gottliebsen.
- Legal assessment on needed changes in franchise contracts.
- ACCC media release on industries the ACCC has targeted.
- ACCC report on unfair contract research. Up to 10million contracts will need to be fixed.
Unfair contract laws proclaimed: 2015
ICA campaigns for fair contracts for self-employed small business people. Here’s our Charter of Contractual Fairness from 2010. The new law fits with our Charter.
- December 2015: Two Business Spectator articles on the significance of the new legislation: Robert Gottliebsen, How Parliament has revolutionised the rules of contracting, and Ken Phillips, A welcome disruption to the economy.
- 12 November 2015: Small Business Unfair contract laws proclaimed. 12 month implementation. ACCC asking for information. Unfair contracts can now be reviewed.
Turnbull Government supports Fair Contract laws
On the evening of 14 September 2015 Tony Abbott was removed as Liberal leader and PM and replaced by Malcolm Turnbull. Fast-moving circumstances around the unfair contract laws were connected to the change in leadership.
- 13 October. Turnbull government accepts Senate amendments making the unfair contract laws effective. Massive win for small business people.
- 14 September (morning) Senate amends unfair contract laws rejects Abbott government. Here’s the inside story.
Abbott Government back-stabs small business
August 2015: the Abbott government back-stabs small business people by limiting unfair contract protections to contracts under $100,000.
- Abbott removed as Prime Minister (evening of 14 September).
- Senate to the Rescue: (morning of 14 September) The Senate votes (all Independents, Greens and Labor) to increase limit to $300,000. Government says it will reject amendment.
- We announce our opposition. (26 August)
- Our submission to the Senate inquiry
Laws to go ahead in 2015
First step for fairness. Billson introduced contract fairness code for supermarkets dealing with small business suppliers. (March 2015)
- Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has said (January 2015) the new laws will go ahead in 2015.
- Banks and unfair protections (December 2014)
- Shopping Centre Council supports unfair protections
ICA Submission to Treasury (July 2014)
ICA’s full submission is here. It is also available in three parts for easier reading:
• Part A: The philosophy underpinning ‘unfair’ contract protections.
• Part B: Our responses to the Treasury discussion paper.
• Part C: Specific examples of unfair contract situations and actual unfair contract clauses.
Abbott Government 2014
Protecting Small Businesses from Unfair Contract Terms (Press Release)
Abbott Government update 2013
2013 Election issue
Abbott Coalition commits to Fair Contract protections for small business people
Understanding the issue
A Typical Contract Dispute (2012)
Finance Brokers Screwed (2010)