The Common Law Unfair Contract Terms Act: Protecting Individuals and Businesses
The Common Law Unfair Contract Terms Act is a critical piece of legislation that protects individuals and businesses from unfair contract terms. This act was introduced to address the growing concern around the use of contract terms that are intended to limit or exclude liability. Typically, these terms are imposed by companies with much greater bargaining power than their consumers or partners.
The act was introduced in 1977 and is based on the principle that all terms in a contract must be fair and reasonable. This means that businesses cannot use contract terms to unfairly limit their liability or exclude the rights of the individual or business they are dealing with. Additionally, the act requires that any non-standard contractual term that is used must be clear and unambiguous.
The Common Law Unfair Contract Terms Act covers a broad range of contracts, including contracts between businesses or individuals, contracts between businesses and their customers, and contracts of employment. The act aims to balance the interests of both parties and ensure that businesses cannot unfairly impose terms on their customers or employees.
One of the key provisions of the act is that it provides that a contractual term that seeks to exempt or limit liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence is considered void. This means that businesses cannot escape liability for their negligence, which precludes them from neglecting safety standards in the workplace or when dealing with customers.
Another provision of the act requires that any non-standard contractual term must be reasonable and clear. This means that businesses cannot use complex legal language to create unfair terms that their customers or employees are unable to understand. It also means that businesses cannot hide unfair terms within their contracts, as these terms would be considered void under the act.
Overall, the Common Law Unfair Contract Terms Act is a critical piece of legislation that protects individuals and businesses from the unfair treatment. By ensuring that contracts are fair and reasonable, the act promotes a fairer and more equitable society, where businesses and individuals are held accountable for their actions. If you are a business owner or an individual, it is crucial to understand your rights under this act and ensure that any contract you enter into is fair and reasonable.