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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...


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...


Bruce Billson and franchisors want employee payment responsibility law trashed

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Remember the 7-Eleven scandal? That’s the one where employees of 7-Eleven stores were underpaid and scammed. To stop this, the Federal government is now introducing legislation to make franchisors jointly responsible with franchisees for underpayment of franchisee employees. It will protect workers. It’s good legislation.

But the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) wants to kill this off.   More...


Western Australia’s big move to protect construction subbies

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Readers may have noticed the somewhat messy outcome with the Federal Government’s ABCC legislation last week. The key killer is that the associated federal construction code will not have application for two years. That means that big construction firms will have two years to continue to collude with unions to screw over small business construction subcontractors.  Here’s commentary from Judith Sloan in The Australian showing why it’s a mess.
 
But riding in from the West is a different player! More...


Keeping an eye on the ATO

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

You may remember the ATO was calling to have scrutiny of its behaviour curtailed and a Parliamentary Inquiry was conducting hearings. We put in a submission saying “no way! The ATO can’t be a law unto itself. It needs to be scrutinized, particularly for small business people.”

Fortunately, good sense has prevailed. Just before the election was called the Parliamentary Committee released its report. The Committee recommended continuing ATO scrutiny. That’s absolutely essential if small business people are to receive some chance of fair treatment from the ATO.  More...


The ATO wants less scrutiny. Are they joking?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Australian Tax Commissioner has been complaining to the Treasurer that the ATO is subject to too much scrutiny. At first, we at ICA thought this was a joke! But no, a parliamentary committee is reviewing whether the ATO needs less scrutiny.

We’re staggered and so we’re responding. We’ve put in a submission saying that, in relation to treatment of small business people, the ATO needs more scrutiny, not less. It’s a long submission but it needs to be.  More...


Quality reform sometimes comes in ‘small’ packages

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sometimes important reforms look ‘small’. One of these is the Federal Small Business Ombudsman Bill that is now before Parliament.

It might look like a minor reform but it’s important. It will fill in gaps where the state Small Business Commissioners don’t have jurisdiction. What’s developing is a fairly comprehensive process that enables small business people to achieve some measure of cheap dispute resolution. This is not only good for small business people but also the broader economy. A well functioning economy needs efficiency in how commercial disputes are fixed.  More...


Small Business Commissioners to the Rescue!

Monday, July 07, 2014

ICA strongly supports and promotes Small Business Commissioners across Australia. The most important role they play is in providing cheap and quick dispute mediation services for self-employed small business people.  More...


Let the unfair contracts debate begin!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Unfair contract protections for small business people have moved a step closer to realisation. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has just released a discussion paper on the proposed laws, which are a Coalition election commitment and which were also announced as a Budget commitment. More...


Small business people and the budget

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

As predicted and expected, almost everyone has been whacked by the budget with higher charges and taxes, and lower payments.

Here’s a quick summary, however, of the situation for small business people summarised from this article by Robert Gottliebsen of Business Spectator. Robert says there’s a big shift of emphasis from big to small business.  More...



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