Taskforce to address franchising reforms

The government has established a Franchising Taskforce to advise on reforms to the sector and build a framework that supports franchisees and franchisors.

The taskforce will examine the recommendations of the Fairness in Franchising report, which was handed down by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services.

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash says she is pleased to see the first step towards implementation of the committee’s recommendations.

“The taskforce will develop the government’s response to the report by carefully considering changes to the regulation of franchising to make it fair and effective for both franchisors and franchisees, while avoiding unnecessary regulatory burden,” she said.

“There are around 80,000 franchisees in Australia – mainly small and family businesses employing more than 470,000 Australians. A healthy franchising sector will have benefits for the broader Australian economy.”

Strengthening and expanding protections

The Committee’s main recommendations are designed to strengthen and expand protections for franchisees. It will ensure they can take collective action, thereby reducing the cost of resolving disputes and imposing tougher penalties for a breach of the Code.

“The Joint Parliamentary Committee made 71 separate recommendations,” Ms Cash said. “They are complex and interrelated and raise a wide variety of issues that range across a number of Ministerial portfolios and legislation beyond the Franchising Code of Conduct.”

In keeping with the Committee’s recommendation, the taskforce comprises senior officers from the Department of the Treasury; the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business; and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Consultation process

The taskforce will consult with stakeholders and other government departments and agencies, including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. For more information the terms of reference may be found at: www.employment.gov.au/franchising-code-conduct.

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