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Campaign Successes

For close to 20 years, Self-Employed Australia has been a persistent public policy advocate for the rights of self-employed, small business people in Australia. Here are just some of the successes we’ve had:
  • Tax defence
  • Unfair contract laws
  • Owner drivers defence
  • Just work safety laws
  • Independent Contractors Act
  • International recognition
See more on our current campaigns.

Defending individuals from Tax Attack (2015-current)

If you are denied small business tax rights, you are effectively not self-employed. We have applied and do apply our energies to assist vulnerable self-employed people from attack from the Australian Taxation Office.
Every self-employed person should read Rod’s story. It can happen to anyone.

Unfair Contract Protections (2009 to 2016)

For more than eight years, Self-Employed Australia has been the primary advocate for unfair contract laws for self-employed, small business people. This was a long, hard campaign but success was achieved with the new laws being passed in 2015. The laws came into operation in November 2016. We are exceedingly proud of our efforts and success with this campaign. It’s a game changer for self-employed, small business people.

Owner-Drivers defense (2012 to current)

For a long time we’ve advocated to defend the rights of owner-driver truckies. You’ll see here some of our activity since 2012.

This culminated in 2016 when we went to the High Court to defend owner-drivers. New laws had come into effect that were putting up to 50,000 owner drivers out of business. We challenged the constitutional validity of the laws in the High Court. The Chief Justice of the High Court said that we had an ‘arguable case.’ Fortunately the laws were repealed and we did not need to proceed further.

Sensible, Just Work Safety Laws. (2009 to 2012)

We were a major advocate for state and federal work safety laws based on what’s internationally known as the ‘Robens Principle'. This holds that everyone is responsible for safety according to what they ‘reasonably and practically control’. We opposed proposed laws that caused people to be liable when they had done nothing wrong. We succeeded.

Independent Contractors Act 2006

The Independent Contractors Act was the first legislation in the world that recognized the status of self-employed people as not being employees but business people.
Self-Employed Australia was the primary advocate for the laws and we were able to do this based on our success at the ILO (see below)

International Recognition (2003 and 2006)

The International Labour Organization is a division of the United Nations and based in Geneva Switzerland. It is the peak global labour regulation body where representatives from government, unions and employers gather to establish the principles of labour law that governments should follow.

For some ten years the ILO had been debating whether it was legitimate for people to be self-employed. It’s amazing that that should even question this. In 2003 and again in 2006 we sent Ken Phillips, our Executive Director, to Geneva to take part in the debates. He was the only self-employed person amongst the more than 500 delegates from across the globe.

The outcome was that the ILO endorsed the legitimacy of self-employed independent contractors—a great but necessary win.

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