Franchising Best Practice and Leadership
Promoting and maintaining franchising as a successful business model, important employer and major economic contributor is a task that is incumbent upon all those who form a part of this vibrant sector.
For the Franchise Council of Australia, ensuring franchising continues to nurture entrepreneurial success and provide opportunities for everyday Australians to own their own small business is at the heart of all that we do.
While the FCA continues to work for a vibrant sector, it is fantastic to see FCA members continuing to demonstrate their commitment to best practice as well.
This can be seen through the take-up of participation in the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) program, the only internationally recognised accreditation program for franchise executives. Since the FCA launched the program in Australia in 2012, around 120 participants have either enrolled in or completed the CFE program, including the 24 franchise professionals who have gained their accreditation in 2017.
The calibre of entrants in this year’s MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards has also been outstanding. There is no better advertisement for the strength of franchising as a vehicle for innovation and entrepreneurship than the women and men, including franchisees, whose achievements are showcased at the Awards. We congratulate all the winners, finalists and entrants for their success and contributions to franchising. These outstanding contributors to the sector deserve recognition, but upholding the good reputation of franchising is a job not just for the FCA but for every franchisor, franchisee and supplier or advisor to the sector.
This can be in the form of education and professional development, fostering and recognising success, and ensuring compliance with all legal and regulatory obligations. By doing so, together we create a robust sector that will continue to provide business and employment opportunities for many Australians into the foreseeable future.
Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017
For almost the past two decades, franchising has been well regulated under the Franchising Code of Conduct, which sets out the rights and obligations of franchisees and franchisors as parties to a franchise agreement.
As businesses, franchises have also been subject to other relevant laws, including the Fair Work Act, which governs the employee/ employer relationship in Australia.
In September 2017, the Federal Parliament passed amendments to the Fair Work Act that apply to all employers, companies and employees covered by the Fair Work Act but are particularly important for franchising. The amendments to the Fair Work Act, introduce new, higher penalties for serious contraventions of workplace laws and record keeping breaches as well as making franchisors jointly liable for the underpayment of workers by franchisees.
In practical terms, these amendments do not change a franchisee’s responsibility to meet their workplace compliance obligations to provide payroll, taxation, superannuation and leave entitlements to all staff they employ. As part of the FCA’s leadership role for the sector, we are engaging in constructively and cooperatively with the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure members are provided with the resources to understand and meet their new responsibilities and obligations. A strong franchise sector relies on franchisors and franchisees meeting their compliance obligations and striving for best practice in all aspects of their business.
Leaders of Franchising
As a prospective franchisee, one of the most important questions you can ask is whether the franchise system you are considering buying into is a reputable brand that is committed to working towards franchise best practice and demonstrating a commitment to maintaining the good name of the franchising industry within Australia.
One way of determining this is to check whether a franchisor is a member of the FCA. While FCA membership itself demonstrates a commitment to franchising excellence, the FCA is now pleased to introduce a new membership category, Leaders of Franchising, which is designed specifically for franchisors who share the FCA’s vision for promoting, supporting and developing franchising as a key driver of economic and entrepreneurial success.
Members who qualify for the Leaders of Franchising membership category will have demonstrated a willingness to share their insights and contribute to building a positive public profile for the franchise sector and Franchise Council of Australia. In return, our Leaders of Franchising will gain access to the benefits of branding, resources to help grow their franchise systems and access to key politicians and stakeholders.
The FCA has engaged with select franchise systems that have demonstrated their commitment to franchising excellence to become the first Leaders of Franchising. The initial response to the launch of this initiative has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to working with and for our inaugural Leaders of Franchising members to promote and grow the franchising business model in Australia.