A Bill to introduce these laws is currently before Parliament.
If as appears likely, the Bill is passed into law, a transition period of 6 months will ensue before the protections come into effect, which is anticipated to be in early 2016. Contracts that are entered into or renewed, or terms of existing contracts that are varied on or after the date the legislation comes into effect, will be required to comply with the new protections.
If you deal with small business and think that the law will apply to you, you should begin reviewing your standard form contracts and considering whether they contain any unfair terms. If there are terms you think could be unfair your standard form contracts may need to be amended. Alternatively, you should be considering why particular terms are justified, and document your reasoning.
Feel free to contact Rohan Harris or other members of our Corporate and Commercial team if you require assistance with drafting terms for your contract, or advice as to the effects of those terms.
The Federal Government has started a consultation process in relation to the proposed extension of laws relating to unfair contract terms in standard form consumer contracts to contracts with small businesses.