Laying the Foundations for the Future
As 2017 draws to a close, the Franchise Council of Australia reflects on a year that has seen the legislative landscape change for the sector but also one that has seen the sector’s peak body lay strong foundations for the future.
While there is no doubt the sector has faced its challenges this year, FCA members continue to demonstrate their commitment to best practice.
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 whose achievements are showcased at the Awards. We congratulate all the winners, finalists and entrants for their success and contributions to franchising. It is important to recognise these success stories, and the FCA is committed to providing the opportunities for the people and businesses that comprise this vibrant sector to flourish.
As an organisation, we are committed to finding new avenues for our members to demonstrate their leadership and to gain recognition for their achievements. We are therefore delighted to launch the new ‘Leaders of Franchising’ membership category and ‘Refer for Recognition’ program as the FCA’s latest offerings to recognise outstanding contributions to franchising and the FCA.
Leaders of Franchising
Whether through the Excellence in Franchising Awards, or education offered through the CFE and events such as the annual National Franchise Convention, the FCA is committed to promoting best practice in all aspects of franchising.
For franchisors and suppliers to the sector, FCA membership demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the good name of the franchising industry within Australia.
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.
Refer for Recognition
We are also pleased to announce another new program that is designed to recognise members for supporting the FCA and encourage those involved in the sector to become FCA members and gain the benefits of education, networking, representation, recognition and credibility that come with membership.
Through the Refer for Recognition program, the FCA is offering our members a chance to nominate new franchisor and/or franchisee members in return for prizes, credit towards membership fees, and the opportunity to be recognised at the National Franchise Convention as key supporters of the Association.
Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017
With the Federal Parliament in September passing amendments to the Fair Work Act that make franchisors jointly liable for the underpayment of workers by franchisees, it’s imperative that franchisors understand their new obligations and responsibilities.
These new obligations extending liability for underpayment and other breaches in franchise and subsidiary networks to franchise head offices commence on 28 October 2017. The amended Act also introduced new, higher penalties for serious contraventions of workplace laws and record keeping breaches, which came into effect during September. At the time of writing, the FWO had begun work to develop the policies, tools and resources to assist industry in meeting new responsibilities and obligations under the Act and is very much looking forward to working with industry to make compliance as easy as possible.
The FCA is engaging constructively and cooperatively with the FWO to ensure members are provided with the resources to understand and meet their new responsibilities and obligations and to ensure the franchise community understands their new obligations under the Act and can demonstrate a compliance culture that builds great confidence in this successful and economically important model of entrepreneurship.
Damian Paull, CEO, Franchise Council of Australia.