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Labor takes bold move on unfair contracts

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bill Shorten’s Labor has announced that it will make unfair contract terms illegal and impose major fines for breaches. This is a position that we totally endorse.

Unfair contract laws protecting small business people were created in November 2015. Big businesses had 12 months to fix their contracts before the laws took effect. But big businesses did nothing. The ACCC has worked hard to enforce the laws but the task is huge when large businesses won’t voluntarily comply. (Idiots! Big business, that is!)

The government is conducting a review. Here’s the Treasury discussion paperIn our submission we support
  • Making non-compliance illegal.
  • The imposition of fines.
  • No limit on the value of a contract that can be declared unfair.
***Further, we ask that government be subject to the unfair contract laws which, surprisingly, is not currently the case. It’s absurd that government makes one rule for the community but won’t apply the same rule to itself. Talk about double standards!

It’s excellent that Labor has declared its position supporting making non-compliance illegal. Labor’s policy is comprehensive. This includes increasing the number of small businesses and contracts that will have unfair contract protections. That is:
  • Businesses with a turnover of up to $10 milllion will be eligible.
  • The contract threshold will increase to $1 million (up from $300,000).
We’re particularly happy with this.

We ask that Labor also supports applying the laws to government.

We hope that the Morrision government finishes its review quickly, decides to beef up the laws and makes the needed changes quickly.


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