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Big end of town to pay on time! Or are they?

Saturday, June 03, 2017

It looks like truly good news. The ‘big end of town’, through the Business Council of Australia, last week launched a new small business ‘pay on time’ code. That is, big businesses signing up to the code have agreed to pay small business suppliers on time. And the Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBA) has endorsed the code.

Let’s be clear. It appears that BCA has moved on the code because the Victorian government has implemented one, the Federal Small Business Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has been pushing for one and the ‘big end of town’ doesn’t want to see legislation forcing them on this.   More...


Like naughty schoolchildren, banks now complying with unfair contract laws

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Readers might recall our news alert headline, “we’ll only do what we’re made to do!” This was a senior counsel from one of the banks responding to our efforts about eight years ago asking them to support the unfair contract laws.

Then in March this year we said that NAB was trashing its own small business brand because it had, in our view, lied about changing its small business contracts to comply with the now operational unfair contract laws.  More...


Tax scams and others. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

If you’ve followed the revelations of the $165 million tax fraud, you’ll know that one of the ATO’s top enforcement officers allegedly sought to cut a deal for his son, one of the ringleaders of the fraud

This case, of which we’ll hear lots more, highlights how self-employed people can get caught up in scams quite quickly. The ACCC is always warning us about scams and it pays to keep watch on the ACCC scam websites: here and here.   More...


‘We’ll only do what we’re made to do!’ says bank’s legal counsel

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Around 8 years ago, we (ICA) were approaching the banks about supporting the introduction of unfair contract laws for small business people. One of the big bank’s chief legal counsel said to us “We’ll only do what we’re made to do!” What a sad attitude. But, unfortunately, in our dealings with many at the ‘big end of town’, that’s our experience with them.

Unfair contract protections
It took us ten years of hard advocacy, but late last year the small business unfair contract laws took effect. Now the change is happening. In The Australian yesterday Robert Gottliebsen detailed how the ACCC has forced Sensis to fix unfair contract clauses. Sensis had concealed clauses that renewed contracts without the small businessperson agreeing. Sensis could cancel contracts but the small businessperson could not. Sensis has agreed to make refunds.  More...


Will franchisors get away with it? Vulnerable Workers Bill

Sunday, May 14, 2017

It’s getting close to decision time in the Senate! Remember the 7-Eleven wages fraud scandal exposed by 4Corners/Fairfax late 2015? The scandal has spread since then with Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Caltex and United Petroleum being caught out underpaying workers.

The Federal government has put forward legislation (The Vulnerable Workers Bill) that will require franchisors to be at least partly responsible if underpayment occurs. We strongly support the Bill. It will force franchisors to properly support the 79,000 small business franchisees to prevent underpayment. More...


The Australian Constitution protecting our freedoms

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips spoke at a ‘Liberty’ conference in Sydney over the weekend. With over 350 people in attendance and with more than 70 speakers it was a stimulating, ideas-packed weekend. Not everyone agreed with each other, but all present agreed on the right to speak freely.

Ken talked about how we at ICA have used the Australian Constitution to defend individual liberty, specifically the right of people to be self-employed. You might recall last year our:  More...


Some good news? Workcover NSW and Federal Government contracts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mostly we’re complaining about bad government behaviour. And we should! And we will continue!

BUT, it makes a pleasant change to report some good news.

Workcover NSW:
As far back as 2005 we had been actively trying to defend self-employed people in NSW from the NSW WorkCover Authority. In 2012 the new government undertook a review. In our submission we stated that the workers compensation scheme is More...


Big business struggling to control the plot and to call the shots. No surprise!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Big business ‘leaders’, such as the Business Council of Australia for example, have for many months been openly expressing their worry that they are failing to influence public policy.

It’s not such a surprise. Australia’s big business leaders have for some time openly and through political backdoors been trying to kill off important economic reforms that make for a better Australian economy.  More...


Big end of town Red Herrings create policy indigestion

Monday, April 10, 2017

It is at it again—the Franchise Council of Australia that is! Again, it is opposing new laws that will make franchisors more responsible. This time it is desperate to block new laws that will impose obligations on franchisors for franchisee workers being underpaid and exploited.

We’ve covered this before in March where we explained what is going on. But now Fairfax media is on the case. Last week Adele Ferguson explained The plot to kill off tough new wage fraud laws. Adele has exposed wage fraud at 7-Eleven, Dominos, Caltex and United Petroleum. She’s now exposed the role being played by ex-Small Business Minister Bruce Billson in trying to block the anti-wage-fraud laws. More...


New law defends the ‘little guy’ against big end of town ‘murder’

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Turnbull government is moving with a new ‘fair go for small business’ law that’s got the big end of town crying ‘unfair’!!

The ‘big enders’ are claiming the law will lead to lawsuits, put pressure on household incomes and damage the free market.

Oh spare us the tears! This is an environment where big businesses have been caught colluding with unions to reduce workers’ wages thereby giving big business a competitive advantage over small business. See here and hereMore...



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