The unfair contract terms (UCT) regime can be found in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) and was originally brought in to protect consumers in circumstances where there is a large imbalance of power regarding the formulation of contracts. Since 2016 this protection has been extended to small businesses. The regime was slated for further expansion by the Federal Government’s Decision Regulation Impact Statement published on 9 November 2020 following substantial advocacy from the ACCC. It is not yet clear when these changes will be formalised, however the changes and potential impacts will be discussed in this article.
In the recent case of Langbein v Mottershead Investments Pty Ltd (No 3)  FCA 1790, the Federal Court of Australia considered an appeal from Mr Langbein from the matter Mottershead Investments Pty Ltd v Aircraft Support Industries Engineering Pty Ltd (in liq)  FCCA 1375 regarding issues of valid consideration and an assignment of warranty.
“To trade or not to trade”: ACCC guidelines for small businesses and franchises responding to the impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a climate of vulnerability for small businesses impacted by trading restrictions and unfair business practices. Throughout 2020, small businesses have faced a host of challenges, including threats of eviction, the failure of large companies to pay invoices, requirements for franchisees to pay franchise fees despite trading restrictions, unfair contract terms and anti-competitive conduct. In response, the ACCC has released simplified and accessible guidelines to support small business and franchises impacted by COVID-19.
By James Sanders, Associate and Jennifer Sung, Lawyer On 9 December 2020, the Morrison Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (Bill). The Bill proposes significant reform of existing industrial relations law to assist Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, creating greater certainty and increased flexibility for both employers…