“It's about the passion”

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Ken Phillips is co-founder and Executive Director of Independent Contractors of Australia. He is a published authority on independent contractor issues and directs research on related commercial and trade practices issues. Through his numerous articles in newspapers and think-tank and academic journals, Ken is known for approaching issues from outside normal perspectives and is frequently sought out for media comment.

Uber lessons in disruption

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Taxi alternative Uber is throwing all the rules about hiring a car with driver out the (taxi) window.

In turning the taxi industry upside down, Uber is causing political storms across North America. The controversy in Australia has only just begun.

It’s just one example of our “disruption addiction”.

Once, keeping everything the same made people feel comfortable. Now we’ve become the ­disruption generation, accommo­da­ting disruption in deeply personal ways. More...


The weird world of global politics

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The era of weird, unpredictable politics seems to be well upon us. This is happening even though people claim they want stability and rationality to prevail.

Take just one situation. At the federal level, Clive Palmer’s party has split after less than six months in the Senate. The investigation of Palmer’s alleged fraud against China’s largest company continues to go badly for him. The Palmer Party’s electoral support has crashed. Given this experience, you’d think that voters would rush to support either of the two major parties if stability is wanted. More...


Freelance workers: hits and myths

Friday, November 29, 2013

Human resource management systems and the professionals who run them are failing to manage a big percentage of their workforces.

This view comes from the admissions of senior HR professionals at a series of workshops and seminars I’ve attended recently. More...


Australia got caught out by Freelancer.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The launch of Freelancer.com onto the Australian stock market last week created great excitement. Upon listing, its 50 cent shares skyrocketed to $2.60 settling at $1.60. Commentators referred to it as potentially Australia’s Twitter.

The story underpinning the share market hype reflects not just a new age technology but rather a transformation in the way business and work is organised. Freelancer highlights how the transformation is expanding and will continue to overpower human resource practices inside large organisations, labour and tax laws and the very idea of what constitutes a business.  More...


Riding the tidal wave of self-employment

Thursday, April 04, 2013

There’s a cultural and economic shift that’s been underway for a while, but is now feeding into local and global political positioning. The impact on business strategy is not far away.

The considerable presence of self-employment in developed economies (around 20 per cent of workforces) is finally feeding into government policy. In this year's State of the Union address, US President Obama emphasised the importance of small business in a jobs-led recovery. More...


3D printing revolution = surge in self-employment

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Technology is – again – about to transform the way people work, resulting in another big surge in self-employment.

This next technological revolution is 3D printing. It’s here, it’s now, but it’s just in its tiny beginning. Simple 3D printers are already within a price range for most people – at under $1500. Certainly they’re a novelty at the moment, producing paper toys and the like, but could explode in affordable sophistication. More...


The New NBN Nightmare

Monday, June 06, 2011

In April this year the NBN hit a brick wall. Tenders were so costly that NBN Co accused construction companies of price gouging. The tender process was halted and several leading NBN Co executives resigned.  More...


IR ghosts of Leighton past

Monday, April 11, 2011

The failure of NBN Co to attract contractors that can build the network at even a reasonable cost and the financial troubles of Leighton’s Theiss unit in getting the Victorian desalination plant off the ground are just the tip of an industrial relations iceberg that will have a chilling effect on Australian productivity. More...



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