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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.

Yes, we’re entitled to ‘bang our own drum’ on this one! But nothing is achieved on one’s own. The Australian journalist Robert Gottliebsen was central to the campaigning. He kept pushing.

Here’s his article today explaining the impact of the laws. Robert says that, according to ACCC research,
 “It appears that somewhere in the vicinity of eight to 10 million contracts will have unfair clauses when they come up for renewal” and
“While it (the laws) will annoy a vast array of large enterprises, the new legislation is vital for the nation.”
In other words, this is huge. It’s an economic game-changer and it’s all about giving small business people a fair shot at being in business.

Former Small Business Minister Bruce Billson must also be thanked. He drove this with the Abbott government. But politics is always ‘interesting’. Here’s the inside story on how the laws were pushed through in the Senate.

Now the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission is in the business of enforcement. We’re working closely with them.

But we’re planning to do lots more in this space. As Winston Churchill famously said at the end of the Second Battle of El Alamein: “This is not the end… But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

ICA has major new plans to help small business achieve fair contracts and will announce these next year.


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