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Time to “take out the garbage” (from standard form terms of business)

November 9, 2017

Recent ACCC prosecutions indicate it’s time to “take out the garbage” (from standard form terms of business)


In September, I wrote in The H.R. & Recruiters’ Casebook that recruiters, who use standard form terms of business, needed to be aware that the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) had commenced court action to enforce the unfair terms in standard form small business contracts provisions, which were introduced into the Australian Consumer Law in November last year.




ACCC  v.  JJ Richards & Sons


One of the companies against which the ACCC took action recently is JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd, a large privately-owned waste management company (JJR & Sons). ACCC v JJ Richards & Sons Pty Ltd [2017] FCA 1224 (13 October 2017).

The case moved forward very quickly, seemingly with JJR & Sons admirable co-operation.


On 13 October, JJR & Sons admitted that each of the following terms in its standard form waste management contracts caused a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and was not reasonably necessary to protect its legitimate interests.

  • Automatic renewal;

  • Unilateral price variation (after notice);