The unfair contract terms regime expansion to small business received Royal Assent on 12 November 2015. As previously blogged, the regime has a 12 month transition period, meaning the amendments will come into effect in November 2016. Businesses have 12 months to implement system changes and contract amendments to ensure compliance. The unfair terms prohibition will only apply to small business contracts entered into or renewed, or terms of existing contracts that are varied, on or after 13 November 2016. It will not apply to contracts entered into before this date.
As we discussed previously, the extended regime is anticipated to be enforced in a similar way to the introduction of the original unfair terms regime for standard form consumer contracts in 2010, with the ACCC to undertake an educative and compliance-based approach to reduce compliance costs and aid ease of transition.