If you’re a small business, then it’s important to be aware of the new legislation changes happening in November 2023 as these will impact businesses all over Australia.
To help you get ahead, we’ve prepared a short summary just for you. Check out the full article here for more information.
Here’s a breakdown of the changes happening later this year:
Standard form contracts are pre-prepared written agreements with fixed terms. That means the party signing it has had little to no opportunity to negotiate its terms. Many Employment Contracts and Supply Agreements tend to be standard form contracts.
With the definition of standard form contracts widening, courts will have more leeway in deciding whether an agreement is a standard form contract or not; and if UCT laws and penalties apply.
Unfair contract terms are clauses in a contract that:
Unfair contract terms are considered to be an illegal practice when used in standard form contracts with small businesses or consumers.
The recent amendments have also broadened the definition of a small business. From November 2023, a business is considered small if they:
This definition applies to your business, and the other party signing or accepting the agreement. These changes have been brought around with the aim of protecting small businesses from unfair practices. It will apply to all new standard form contracts and ones modified after 9th November 2023.
Standard form contracts found to be using unfair contract terms will be declared void if the term is central to the contract. If not, then the part deemed unfair will be struck out of the contract.
The new laws also introduce heavier fines and penalties for the use of unfair contract terms in standard form contracts. This includes:
If you’re a small business using standard form contracts, then it’s a good idea to get your Contracts Reviewed by a legal expert to make sure you’re in the clear and to avoid the new heavy penalties.
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