Under the IC Act, independent contractors are able to seek relief if they perform work on terms that are ‘unfair’ or ‘harsh’. An independent contractor also may be eligible to access remedies under the Commonwealth unfair contracts system. To be eligible, you need to be covered by the IC Act.

In deciding whether a contract is unfair or harsh, the courts will only take into account:

  • the terms of the contract when it was made
  • the relative bargaining strengths of the parties to the contract and, if applicable, any person acting on behalf of the parties
  • whether any pressure or unfair tactics were used to influence a party to the contract
  • whether the worker would be earning less under the contract than an employee performing similar work
  • any other matters the courts consider relevant.

If the court decides that the contract is unfair or harsh, the court may invalidate all or part of the contract, or order changes to its terms.

For more information on contractor’s rights, please review the independent contractors section of business.gov.au. You can also contact business.gov.au on 13 28 46.