The Federal Court has decided that it has no power under the
Independent Contractors Act 2006 ("the Act") to
make retrospective orders to remedy unfair contracts.
The Act enables certain contracts for services to be reviewed on
the basis the contract is unfair or harsh, having regard to matters
such as the bargaining positions of the parties and whether the
contract provides remuneration that is less than an employee
performing similar work. If such a finding is made, the Court can
set aside all or part of the contract or vary the contract.
However, this ruling will prevent orders seeking compensation for
contracts declared to be unfair.
Practically, this may mean that applications under the Act are
confined to orders seeking variation of contracts that are
currently on foot, as opposed to those which have been
It is also worth noting that this part of the Act does not apply
to a contract for services to which an independent contractor that
is a body corporate is a party, unless the work to which the
contract relates is wholly or mainly performed by a director of the
body corporate or a member of the family of a director of the body
The regime provided by this Federal Act is much more limited
than that provided by previous State regimes.
Informax International Pty Limited v Clarius Group Limited
(No. 2)  FCA 934
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employment law such as:
Misconduct and performance
Dismissal and redundancies
Unfair dismissal applications
III and injured employees
Claims for employee entitlements
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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