Turnbull Government enshrines better small business protections into law

Federal Member for Mitchell, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, said Mitchell small businesses will have increased protections under Australian consumer law, thanks to new laws which have recently taken effect.

Changes to Australian unfair contract terms under consumer law will allow Australia’s more than 2.1 million small businesses to have the same protections as available to consumers, following an extensive consultation and implementation period.

”This announcement delivers upon a key election promise of the Turnbull Government and is yet another injection of confidence into small businesses in Mitchell,” Alex Hawke said.

“During the past twelve months, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has worked closely with businesses to help them comply with the new law, and the Government is pleased that many large businesses have reviewed their standard form contracts ahead of the changes commencing.

Under the new law, a small business will be able to have an unfair term in a standard form contract declared void by a Court if, at the time of agreeing to the contract, it had fewer than 20 employees and the contract did not exceed $300,000 (or $1 million for contracts longer than 12 months).

A standard form contract is one which has been prepared by one party to the contract and where the other party has little or no opportunity to negotiate the terms.

Alex Hawke said a fair deal for small business is central to the Turnbull Government’s economic plan. The new protections will ensure small businesses get a fair deal when entering into standard form contracts with larger businesses. For a long time small businesses entering into contracts with larger businesses have had no choice but to accept all the terms of a standard form contract that they are given – that changes today.

“The changes are a key part of the Federal Government’s strategy to ensure Australia is the best place to start and grow a business,” Alex Hawke MP said.

For more information, visit: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/business-rights protections/unfair- contract-terms.