The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) provides Australian consumers of goods and services with some of the world’s strongest protections in their dealings with big business.
Since 2016 the protections under the “unfair contract terms” regime of the ACL have been extended to protect small businesses who enter into standard form contracts to purchase goods or services from other businesses.
Examples of such unfair contract terms include:
Terms of contracts that have been determined by the courts to be unfair include terms that: 
The Commonwealth Government recently published an exposure draft of a Bill  that seeks to further strengthen the protections provided by the ACL unfair contract terms regime.
The draft Bill seeks to achieve its aim of benefiting both consumers and small businesses by enhancing available remedies and enforcement powers by:
The draft Bill also seeks to expand the class of contracts covered by the regime by:
The Bill is still in exposure draft form and was until recently open for public submissions prior to formally introducing it into Parliament
If the Bill passes into law without amendment, the new provisions discussed above will apply to standard form contracts that are entered, varied or renewed after the date that is six months after the Bill commences.
Standard form contracts are usually used for convenience, are cost-effective and a fast way of binding parties. However, if the Bill is passed into law, such convenience may now come with more risk and costs if an unfair contract term is included in the standard contract and relied upon.
Hillhouse Legal Partners can help you by undertaking a review of your business’s standard form contracts and assist you in complying with the unfair contract terms regime.
We can also assist if you think you, or your business, have been impacted by the operation of an unfair contract term.
To make a time to discuss your particular circumstances with us simply send us an email or call 07 3220 1144.
 ACCC Speech, Chairman Mr Rod Sims 15 March 2013
 ACCC v JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd  FCA 1224
 Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for a later sitting) Bill 2021
The information in this blog is intended only to provide a general overview and has not been prepared with a view to any particular situation or set of circumstances. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. While we attempt to ensure the information is current and accurate we do not guarantee its currency and accuracy. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the information in this blog as it may not be appropriate for your individual circumstances.