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‘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...


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...


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...


Victory for small business fair contracts is an economic game-changer

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tomorrow, Saturday 12 November, the new unfair contract laws for small business people come into effect.

At ICA we can be rightly proud of these laws because we spent seven years arguing for the laws. There’s no question that these laws have happened because of ICA. More...


To gig or not to gig? Fairness and the new economy

Monday, August 08, 2016

This month, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has an article in Flying Solo explaining why the new unfair contract laws for small business people are so significant. It’s a rather timely article because the ACCC has just released a new guide to the laws.

It’s worth being aware of your rights as a ‘solo’ business person under these new laws. These Australian laws are a global first. It’s these sort of laws that will make the ‘gig’ economy fairer and hence sustainable as a new business model.  More...


SEAANZ conference: HIGHLY recommended!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

At ICA, we're a little exhausted because we’ve spent 10 months heavily involved in organising this event. The National Small Business Conference (10-12 August, Melbourne)  is just 2 weeks away. We believe it’s important that at least once a year politicians, bureaucrats, academics and small business people get together to discuss small business issues.

This year’s conference has a stunning line-up of presenters. We highly recommend you look at your timetable and budget to see if you can attend at least part of the conference. There’s great value, we think. More...


The innovation small business conference

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

We’re heavily involved in assisting to organise the National Small Business Conference (Melbourne, 11-12 August)  which we strongly recommend you consider attending, if you have the time.

The conference is ‘into’ innovation. But there are limits! Watch this very funny YouTube clip presented by US comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s amazing what innovators can do with the humble AA battery! Ha! More...


How powerful institutions try to crush entrepreneurship

Sunday, February 07, 2016

In a recent news alert we discussed the rise of self-employment in the UK and Canada that is making up most of the new jobs in those countries. We discussed how China is discovering that the self-employed are the ‘happiest’ workers. This is part of the pattern of the ‘gig’ economy: Uber, Airbnb and many others creating a new economy. We call it ‘capitalism of the individual’; self-employment.  

This should be a welcome and exciting progression of human economic development. But, around the world, hugely powerful institutions are in the ‘suppression’ game. These institutions are government-funded and pursue their own agendas in a ‘Yes, Minister’ style of control over the political process. More...



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