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Self-employed update: Do we really need saving from ourselves?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

At ICA, we come across all sort of weird attacks on the self-employed. But one of the strangest is that we ‘screw over ourselves’. That was the argument mounted in California’s self-described ‘premier monthly business publication’, Comstock.

The ‘save us from ourselves’ argument was essentially the justification for Australia’s recent (fortunately failed) attempt to destroy the businesses of 35,000 owner-drivers. Lawyers are preparing the case for the class action to recover losses. Info here.  More...


A Changing World

Saturday, January 02, 2016

There’s probably no more startling evidence of change than the development of the ‘bionic human’. Watch this extraordinary TED presentation about the new bionics creating enhanced human capacity. Alleged disability becomes ability! It’ll have your mind leaping!

Just as will the ticklingly funny discussion (also on TED) between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin exploring how women’s relationships differ from men’s. As we’re (ICA) interested in small business, it makes us wonder about how women manage small business differently from men. It’s a cultural difference! More...


The importance of the new Unfair Contracts legislation

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Two recent articles in Business Spectator – by Robert Gottliebsen and our own Ken Phillips – have highlighted the real significance of the new Unfair Contracts legislation that was proclaimed on 12 November.

ICA takes this opportunity to publicly thank Members of Parliament who made sure a workable version of the legislation got up. The Senate, in particular, played a crucial role in making the unfair contract laws effective. Our thanks to The Greens, Labor and all the Independent Senators—that is, Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm, Dio Wang, Ricky Muir, Nick Xenophon, John Madigan, Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie. And our thanks to the Turnbull government for accepting the amendments. More...


Self-employment update: Innovation, happiness and the ‘gig’ economy

Monday, November 09, 2015

Last week, ICA’s Executive Director, Ken Phillips, wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Turnbull which was published in Business Spectator. It was about the PM’s desire for an innovation society. Ken said small business innovation is in trouble because of the Tax Office and other matters. He said that there are two tasks:  More...


Why we do what we do: The quest for fairness

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

We’ve been pretty pleased with the creation of the Unfair Contract Protection laws for small business people. We feel that our campaigning for this since 2010 has been worthwhile.  

But it really came home recently as to why we do what we do. Robert Gottliebsen had an article in Business Spectator on the reform and there was a blog comment from Danielle which is worth quoting in full. Danielle said: More...


Exotic dancers and the tyranny of the status quo?

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Since 2012 ICA has been tracking the extraordinary debate happening in the UK about the ‘evils’ of self-employment. The debate was first ignited by the UK Trades Union movement. UK self-employment has doubled since 1975 to be now 15 per cent of the workforce (4.5 million people). Incredibly, UK unions say this is socially destructive.

Earlier this year a union-orientated think-tank, the Resolution Foundation, made similar claims.   More...


Land of the (not so) free

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ken Phillips has recently been in Washington for discussions with several organizations about independent contractor rights and labour law in general. He was surprised to discover the extent to which the basic right to join or not join a union is denied in the ‘land of the free’. According to Ken, 'it's  amazingly oppressive Federal law'. More...


Turn yourself into a brand

Sunday, December 15, 2013

If you don’t ‘brand’ yourself when you’re self-employed, your capacity to be your own business and make good money is diminished. This is an important message I took from a presentation at the Pan-Asia small business conference in Macau in November. Full blogpost hereMore...


Inside the mind of the independent professional

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tui McKeown is at Monash University and on the ICA board. She conducts ground-breaking research into how independent contractors think. Her latest edition of the IPro Index, sponsored by Entity Solutions contains lessons about how businesses can interact with the ‘new worker’. More hereMore...


Australia got caught out by Freelancer.com

Wednesday, November 20, 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. Read full blogpost... More...



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