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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.

Political card tricks

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Small business people lose out under Abbott government. Incompetent big business wins

Last week the Abbott government did two things that signal it as a big business, big union, big government operation. This is probably surprising to most people who thought the Coalition was a union hater. But not so!  More...


Caution will reign in the Abbott government

Friday, September 20, 2013

Now that it’s clear that Labor and the Greens have lost control of the Senate as well as government, the nature of Tony Abbott as national leader comes into sharper focus. As prime minister, Abbott has the numbers (with reasoned Senate negotiation) to effectively govern.   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...


How Abbott outflanked Labor on IR

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Coalition's industrial relations policy is a real disappointment to many.

It's disappointing for big business lobbyists who wanted a commitment to individual employment agreements. They wanted a dropping of good faith bargaining provisions and the reintroduction of employer friendly Greenfield agreements amongst many items. Most things on their wish list are technical legal issues relating to how union negotiations are to be handled. 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...


Riding the tidal wave of self-employment

Thursday, April 04, 2013

There’s a cultural and economic shift that’s been underway for a while, but is now feeding into local and global political positioning. The impact on business strategy is not far away.

The considerable presence of self-employment in developed economies (around 20 per cent of workforces) is finally feeding into government policy. In this year's State of the Union address, US President Obama emphasised the importance of small business in a jobs-led recovery. 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...


Commissioners help the small guys

Friday, July 20, 2012

The regulation of business-to-business contracts is undergoing changes that will, for some, challenge sacred-cow ideas about the law and economics.

At the high policy end, the federal Attorney-General's department is conducting a review of contract law.

However, if the AG's review results just in further tuning of complex legal issues and processes, it won't really have done much for the community. More...


Unwinding Shorten's red-tape assault

Thursday, September 29, 2011

In a major speech on Labor's future earlier this month, Prime Minister Julia Gillard outlined a renewed vision for the party. At the heart of her message was a call to embrace individualism within the traditional framework of Labor's commitment to collectivism. But while her words were encouraging, the prime minister must now 'walk the talk'. Specifically, she must lean on her assistant treasurer, Bill Shorten, to stop the push to employ the tax system against contractors. More...



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