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Independent Contractors Bill 2006

Part 1 Preliminary


1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Independent Contractors Act 2006 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.


Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3




1.  Sections 1 and 2 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.


2.  Sections 3 to 43

A single day to be fixed by Proclamation.

However, if any of the provision(s) do not commence within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the first day after the end of that period.


Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally passed by the Parliament and assented to. It will not be expanded to deal with provisions inserted in this Act after assent.

             (2)  Column 3 of the table contains additional information that is not part of this Act. Information in this column may be added to or edited in any published version of this Act.

3   Objects of this Act

             (1)  The principal objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to protect the freedom of independent contractors to enter into services contracts; and

                     (b)  to recognise independent contracting as a legitimate form of work arrangement that is primarily commercial; and

                     (c)  to prevent interference with the terms of genuine independent contracting arrangements.

             (2)  The Act achieves these objects, principally, by providing for the rights, entitlements, obligations and liabilities of parties to services contracts to be governed by the terms of those contracts, subject to:

                     (a)  the rules of common law and equity as applying in relation to those contracts; and

                     (b)  the laws of the Commonwealth as applying in relation to those contracts; and

                     (c)  the laws of the States and Territories as applying in relation to those contracts, other (in general) than any such laws that confer or impose rights, entitlements, obligations or liabilities of a kind more commonly associated with employment relationships.

4   Definitions

                   In this Act:

Commonwealth authority means:

                     (a)  a body corporate established for a public purpose by or under a law of the Commonwealth; or

                     (b)  a body corporate:

                              (i)  incorporated under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory; and

                             (ii)  in which the Commonwealth has a controlling interest.

constitutional corporation means a corporation to which paragraph 51(xx) of the Constitution applies.

Court means the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Magistrates Court.

exclusion provisions means subsections 7(1) and 10(1).

independent contractor is not limited to a natural person.

organisation has the same meaning as in the Workplace Relations Act 1996 .

penalty unit has the meaning given by section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 .

services contract has the meaning given by section 5.

workplace inspector has the same meaning as in the Workplace Relations Act 1996 .

5   Services contract

General meaning

             (1)  A services contract is a contract for services:

                     (a)  to which an independent contractor is a party; and

                     (b)  that relates to the performance of work by the independent contractor; and

                     (c)  that has the requisite constitutional connection specified in subsection (2).

Note:          Conditions or collateral arrangements relating to a services contract may be taken to be part of the services contract: see subsection (4).

The requisite constitutional connection

             (2)  A contract for services has the requisite constitutional connection if:

                     (a)  at least one party to the contract is:

                              (i)  a constitutional corporation; or

                             (ii)  the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority; or

                            (iii)  a body corporate incorporated in a Territory in Australia; or

                     (b)  one or more of the following subparagraphs is satisfied:

                              (i)  the work concerned is wholly or principally to be performed in a Territory in Australia;

                             (ii)  the contract was entered into in a Territory in Australia;

                            (iii)  at least one party to the contract is a natural person who is resident in, or a body corporate that has its principal place of business in, a Territory in Australia.

             (3)  Without limiting its effect apart from this subsection, subparagraph (2)(a)(i) also has the effect it would have if the reference to a constitutional corporation were, by express provision, confined to a constitutional corporation that has entered into the contract for the purposes of the business of the corporation.

Conditions and collateral arrangements

             (4)  A condition or collateral arrangement that relates to a services contract is taken to be part of that services contract if, were the condition or arrangement itself a contract for services, it would have the requisite constitutional connection.