Sladen Snippet – Bill to extend application of unfair contract provisions to small business contracts

The unfair contract provisions under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) provide that terms in “standard form” contracts that are “unfair” under the legislation can be declared void. The provisions apply to contracts for the supply of goods or services or a sale or grant of an interest in land for personal, domestic or household use or consumption. There are similar provisions in the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001  applying to the sale of financial products and services.

On 24 June 2015 a new bill proposing to extend the unfair contract provisions to small business contracts was introduced into the House of Representatives. If passed, the bill will extend the application of the unfair contract provisions to contracts where:

  • one or more party is businesses with fewer than 20 employees; and
  • the upfront price payable under the contract either does not exceed $100,000, or, if the contract has a duration of more than 12 months, the upfront price payable does not exceed $250,000.

The bill is aimed at providing additional remedies for small businesses and deterring inclusion and enforcement of unfair terms.

For further information in regards to the unfair contract provisions or remedies under the ACL, please contact:

Leneen Forde
Principal
Sladen Legal
03 9611 0142
lforde@sladen.com.au

or

Andrew Blyth
Lawyer
Sladen Legal
03 9611 0184
ablyth@sladen.com.au

Sladen Legal

Sladen Legal, 707 Collins Street, Docklands, VIC, 3008