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We’ve changed our name! But we’re still the same—only getting stronger

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Well here’s a turn-up for us! In 2000 (goodness, 18 years ago!) we formed Independent Contractors Australia to advocate for the rights of self-employed people. And in that time we’ve been more successful than we could have envisaged. More...


Good news: BIG review of Australian Taxation Office

Thursday, June 08, 2017

You’ll be aware of our ongoing heavy criticism of the Australian Taxation Office in their treatment of small business people.  In our view:

‘Mum and dad’ businesses are targeted by the ATO with unfair, even questionably legal, tactics.
And as just one example, we successfully defended Rod Douglass from baseless ATO accusations of fraud/evasion. More...


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...


‘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...


Campaign started for small business tax tribunal

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Regular website visitors will have followed our campaigns on the tax front. In fact we’ve been campaigning on tax issues since we began in 2000.

Our years of experience and knowledge came to a head late last year in the successful legal defence of independent IT contractor Rod Douglass. In court the ATO admitted that its allegation of ‘evasion’ against Rod was ‘baseless’. It dropped some $400,000 in tax claims against him. We have more legal cases pending in 2017.  More...


Are owner-drivers at risk again? And what about Uber employees?

Friday, February 03, 2017

Owner-drivers
You’ll recall the mess last year in the attempts to destroy the businesses of owner-drivers in Australia.

However, the Victorian government is now reviewing its owner-driver laws, laws that we say are pretty good as they stand. We don’t think the review is looking to set up price-fixing as happened under the disbanded federal law. But Federal Labor voted to keep the disbanded laws. Who knows what the Victorian Labor government’s agenda might be? We urge owner-drivers to keep a close eye on this. More...



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