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Our role in the election campaign. Independence and aspiration

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Last Saturday’s (18 May) surprise election outcome has triggered a tsunami of commentary about what went wrong for Shorten’s Labor and what went right for Morrison’s Coalition. In this post, we present our take on the election was well as details of our social media and website campaigning... More


ATO exposed again! Systemic mistreatment of small business people

Monday, April 29, 2019

It doesn’t seem to stop. The ATO continues to deny that it does anything wrong, but official reviews and reports keep slamming the ATO. This time it’s the Small Business Ombudsman reporting on the ATO’s enforcing debt even while the debt is being challenged in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The report finds that the ATO does this on 12 per cent of occasions... More

ATO – Mongrel Bunch of Bastards – one year on

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

It is one year to the day since the Four Corners show ‘Mongrel Bunch of Bastards’ was aired. This ABC production exposed the ATO’s mistreatment of small business people. It continues to be relevant, even as the ATO continues to publicly deny that there are problems..... More

More SEA News...

Global Self-Employment Updates
We monitor self-employment news from around the world. Full list here.


Big breakthrough in ATO treatment of small business people

Coalition government announces Small Business Tax Tribunal. This is a hugely important breakthrough

Key features:
  • Be totally separate from ATO.
  • Not involve lawyers.
  • Appoint a case manager to support the taxpayer.
  • Make decisions within 28 days of a hearing.
  • Require a payment of $500 from the taxpayer for each appeal.
And
  • If the ATO appeals the AAT decisions to the Federal Court, the ATO will pay the small businesses’ reasonable costs.
  • If there are test cases where lawyers are used, the ATO pays for the taxpayers’ lawyers.
Our commentary here.

ALP also looking to reform ATO
Our commentary here. Full story here. This includes history of our campaigning, submissions, case studies, etc.


Defend the right to be self-employed

Public sector bureaucracies along with unions are wanting to close down the right to be self-employed. We have seen these attacks before such as:

  • Contractors are ‘dependent’.
  • Sham contracting is rife.

See our responses on these arguments in 2011.  See our success at the International Labour Organisation in 2006.

And now the new attack is against the ‘gig economy’. We have new campaigns on our hands!


Self-employment challenges managerial orthodoxy

The supposed ‘rise’ of the ‘gig’ economy is causing much debate on whether its impacts are good or evil for society. But that debate is not new. In 2005, SEA's Executive Director, Ken Phillips, published his challenging book, Independence and the Death of Employment, in which he examined the fundamental changes that were occurring, even then, in the way we work and how notions about independence and the role of the commercial contract were fundamental to them. The Introduction to the book is available here. Recent arguments about the ‘gig’ economy have refired that debate.

Is your contract fair?

SEA can rightly claim huge success in achieving Unfair Contract protections for small business people. New protective legislation came into effect in November 2016—a world's first for self-employed people. Resources for checking your own contract are here.

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