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Protecting Small Business Against Unfair Contract Terms
Today I had the pleasure of hosting the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, in Deakin, at Bill and Mary’s Cafe Emjay, Ringwood East.
We reiterated the Coalition Government’s commitment to give Australian small businesses a ‘fair go’.
We’re doing this by extending the unfair contract protections currently available to consumers to cover the small business sector.
Australians’ know small business is the engine room of our economic future and we want to ensure that they have access to a level playing field so they can continue to grow, invest and create jobs.
We realise that small businesses often lack the time, legal expertise or bargaining power to resist enforcement of unfair terms against them – they can cop ‘take it or leave it’ contracts, with little scope to negotiate just and fair terms.
The Australian Small Business Commissioner has found instances of misuse of market power in contracting of telephone and internet services; office or commercial leasing equipment; and retail outlet leases.
The Government’s new small business protections will allow the courts to declare void a term within a contract that is unfair. For example, a term that allows a big business to unilaterally change the price or key terms during the course of the contract could be considered unfair.
To carry out this task, the Government has provided $1.4 million to the ACCC to ensure big businesses comply with the new rules.
Click the link to view the Joint Press Release: Protecting small businesses