Unfair Contract Terms Banned

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Original media release from the Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury (9/11/2023).

The Albanese Government’s additional protections for small businesses and consumers take effect today outlawing unfair contract terms to help level the playing field in negotiations between big corporations and both small businesses and consumers.

These reforms give regulators the power to seek a court penalty for businesses that include unfair terms in standard form contracts.

The protections also cover more small business contracts by lifting the eligibility threshold from less than 20 employees to less than 100 employees, or annual turnover of less than $10 million.

Small businesses and consumers often lack the resources and bargaining power to negotiate contracts, and previous laws against unfair terms did not provide adequate protections.

While big businesses previously only risked an unfair term being declared void, our stronger protections means that businesses can now face substantial penalties for using unfair terms and therefore will be more motivated to ensure their contracts are fair.