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From the Desk of the Executive Director

Ken Phillips is co-founder and Executive Director of Independent Contractors of Australia. He is a published authority on independent contractor issues and directs research on related commercial and trade practices issues. Through his numerous articles in newspapers and think-tank and academic journals, Ken is known for approaching issues from outside normal perspectives and is frequently sought out for media comment.

Australia got caught out by Freelancer.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The launch of Freelancer.com onto the Australian stock market last week created great excitement. Upon listing, its 50 cent shares skyrocketed to $2.60 settling at $1.60. Commentators referred to it as potentially Australia’s Twitter.

The story underpinning the share market hype reflects not just a new age technology but rather a transformation in the way business and work is organised. Freelancer highlights how the transformation is expanding and will continue to overpower human resource practices inside large organisations, labour and tax laws and the very idea of what constitutes a business.  More...

Supers big boys need to disclose

Friday, October 04, 2013

The big superannuation funds are at it again. They're campaigning against the one million Australians who own and control self-managed super funds.

The big funds have done this before, under the Rudd-Gillard Labor governments.

There's about $1.6 trillion of Australians' retirement money in superannuation. The industry (union-controlled) funds have 26 per cent. The retail funds (controlled by banks and AMP) have 20 per cent. Ordinary Australians with SMSFs have 31 per cent, or $500 billion. More...

Small firms need a fair go

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Of the seven million Australians who work in small businesses few probably understand what Tony Abbott proposes for them if he becomes prime minister. But Abbott's small business policy is a game-changer.

Abbott has committed to introducing contract fairness for small businesses in their dealing with big business and big government. This significant initiative demonstrates a wide difference between the two parties. More...

Hope glimmers in Abbotts small business spotlight

Friday, May 31, 2013

Slowly the Abbott opposition is revealing just how dramatically different business regulation and policy is likely to be under an alternative government. In essence they are preparing to put small business at the centre of key business policy in a way never before seen. And particularly, it might seem, with competition laws. More...

Hospitality penalty rates killing our weekend cafe society

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Penalty rate hikes in awards, particularly weekend and public holiday rates, are causing Australia to undergo a backward revolution. It's a step into the past by stealth. Restrictive trading hours are being imposed through the mechanism of business-breaking cost hikes. More...

Paralysed in a tax office trap

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Australian union movement has been quite open about its campaign to stamp out independent contractors wherever it can. Running parallel to this, it's instructive to see that the Australian Taxation Office has shifted to a decidedly anti-independent contractor stance over the last few years.  The outcome (intentional or not) is to aid the unions' objectives. More...

The contract key that could swing small business

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Abbott Coalition election plan released over the weekend makes some big claims in relation to small business. Chief among these is that a Coalition government will double the annual rate of growth of small business. They believe it’s from small business that more than half of their million new jobs target will be achieved. More...

Small businesses must make stand against Fair Work goliath

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"DEAR Campbell Newman. Yes please, protect our business and jobs from the Fair Work Act."

This is the short email that 50,700 small-business owners and the 380,000 people who work with them as employees should send to the Premier.

Recently Newman, through his Attorney-General, released an issues paper that proposes Queensland "bring back" its industrial relations powers from the Commonwealth covering unincorporated businesses (sole traders and partnerships). More...

A Queensland escape for the IR weary

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sometimes Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten really works hard at trivialising important issues. Yesterday he referred to as "silly" the idea being floated in an Issues Paper by the Queensland government of bringing back from the Commonwealth industrial relations powers covering unincorporated small businesses.  More...

Desperate solutions for a broken union brand

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Australian unions are on the attack against self-employed people and it's all because unions are under pressure. Their attack has unfolded as part of a brand defence campaign.

From a marketing perspective the trade union brand has taken a beating in the last year or so. The misuse of member funds in the Health Services Union kicked off the issue. The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption is exposing allegations of senior Labor/union operatives playing lead roles in corruption. It's anticipated that a lot more will be exposed.  More...

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