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Changes to the Australian Consumer Law: Businesses Risk $50M Fines For Each Unfair Contract Term Within Their Standard Form Agreements

The Australian Consumer Law has now changed, meaning that businesses with standard contracts will soon be at risk of incurring penalties in excess of $50 million for each unfair contract term within their standard form agreements. 

The definition of small business contracts in section 23(4) will be amended to apply to a business that has either:

  1. fewer than 100 employees; or
  2. an annual turnover of less than $10 million (calculated on the business’ last income year).

Casual employees are not counted unless employed on a regular and systemic basis, and part-time employees are counted as a fraction of a full-time employee.

The change to this definition potentially expands the scope of businesses that would be captured under this section, as it would no longer be confined to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

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