Australian Franchising Code of Conduct amended on 2 June 2021

Introduction Following a lengthy Parliamentary Inquiry commencing in March 2018, amendments to the Franchising Code of Conduct were released 1 June 2021. Of the 71 earlier recommendations made by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services some 11 substantive changes have been taken up impacting on the disclosure obligations of the franchisor, the […]

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Food services franchise scorecard – ACCC unimpressed

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has revealed the key findings of its recent compliance checks of a sample of franchisors in the food services sector. The ACCC investigated 12 separate food services industry franchisors. The report outlines the following issues. 8/12 of the franchisors made it difficult to contact former franchisees The Franchising […]

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Report on senate inquiry into franchising sector published

On 14 March 2019, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services released its report entitled ‘Fairness in Franchising’. The first recommendation of the Report is that an inter-agency Franchising Taskforce be established to examine the feasibility and implementation of a number of the Committee’s recommendations. It is recommended that the Taskforce include representatives […]

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Ultra Tune fined for breaching Franchising Code

Federal Court gives further direction on required content of annual marketing fund statements  The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s recent investigations into the conduct of well known motor repairer, Ultra Tune, have resulted in the Federal Court ordering Ultra Tune to pay a penalty of $2,604,000 to the ACCC. On 18 January 2019, the Federal […]

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Franchising – will it remain a viable business model?

This is the text of a presentation given by Peter Buberis to the Council for Economic Development in Adelaide recently. The current atmosphere – media/senate inquiry Why the fuss now?  Confusion with Finance Royal Commission – contract v bad behaviour. Concern from offshore investors.  The franchising industry seems to be in a present state of turmoil […]

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The franchising industry – disruption or disaster?

Recent revelations of wage scandals and the parlous position of franchisees, within certain well known franchise systems, have led to what is being viewed by some as a crisis, perhaps even a crossroads which may determine the future survival of franchising as a business model. This is certainly the line that has been pressed by […]

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Franchise systems benefit from competition law changes

Profit opportunities for franchise systems arising from changes to competition laws When your franchise system was established, considerable thought was given to the profit centres it would create and achieving from them a return satisfactory to the system and/or its shareholders, which at the same time provided an acceptable income to your franchisees to justify […]

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Proposed Australian workplace law changes affecting franchisors

The 7-Eleven scandal, which involved unlawful conduct by franchisees such as requiring employees to pay back a significant amount of their wages and falsely recording data, sparked a thorough investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Following the release of the Ombudsman’s report, the Australian government announced its policy to protect vulnerable workers in light of […]

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Franchise Code: ACCC seeks penalties for alleged breach

It is mandatory under the Franchising Code of Conduct for a franchisor to disclose relevant business experience to prospective franchisees, including information about previous insolvency events. For the first time, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has sought penalties for breaches of the Code in the Federal Court. The revised Code (which came into […]

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BREXIT – what impact would it have on Australian franchise systems?

On the 23rd June 2016 the voters of the United Kingdom will provide a definitive view on the place of the United Kingdom within the European Union. This commentary will not delve into the pro’s and con’s of the argument but does note the strong possibility of the United Kingdom voting in favour of an […]

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Here we go again …

As Franchisors and advisors we have just undergone a year of significant change in bedding down the new requirements of the Franchise Code and redrafting our suite of documents. While much remains unanswered about the new regime, including the practical ramifications of the “good faith” relationships parties now must observe, the changes seem somehow more […]

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Unconscionable conduct: ACCC cleans up franchisor

The Federal Court has again reminded us that the law will step in to defend franchisees who have suffered at the hands of overzealous franchisors. The Court recently found that an experienced franchisor, South East Melbourne Cleaning (South East) engaged in unconscionable conduct in its dealings with franchisees and contravened section 21 of the Australian […]

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