Bringing a value proposition to franchises large and small
As the peak body for Australia’s $144 billion franchise sector, the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) is responsible for spreading best practice franchising and representing the interests of franchises that range from the small and emerging systems to those with a global reach and the resources to match.
One of the key ways the FCA does this is by engaging with the Federal Government and other stakeholders on proposed legislative changes. Recently, this has included involvement with the consultation on the development of the new Franchise Code of Conduct, which came into effect on 1 January 2015, amongst other things. Assisting members to understand their compliance obligations under the most significant changes to franchising regulation since the enactment of the Code in 1998 remains a focus of the FCA.
It is with that in mind that I would remind franchisors that while there has been a transition period for the production of new disclosure documents that are required under the Code, the grace period ends on 31 October this year. So if you are yet to turn your attention to making sure your disclosure documents are Code compliant, the time to do so is now.
Additionally, the FCA has been actively involved in consultations, and will continue to do so,around the proposed changes to the unfair contracts legislation. At the time of writing, the Federal Government has released exposure draft legislation that would see the unfair contract terms apply to businesses that employ less than 20 persons, for transactions under $100,000, or $250,000 for contracts that last longer than 12 months, and the FCA was preparing to make a formal submission on the draft legislation.
The FCA has also been involved in discussions onthe new office of the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. The new Ombudsman, who is intended to be a Commonwealth-wide advocate for small business and act as a ‘concierge for dispute resolution’, is expected to be operational from 1 July this year. Pleasingly, many of the stipulations contained in the initial FCA submission were acknowledged in the draft legislation released in March. The FCA has provided a submission of the draft legislation reiterating its support and stipulations for the proposed Ombudsman. National Franchise Convention 2015.
Providing opportunities for members to gain ongoing professional development and network with fellow franchising professionals is, of course, another core role of the Association.
This is achieved through a range of networking and roundtable events held throughout the year, as well as the Certified Franchise Executive program, which now has six inductees and is on track for more at this year’s National Franchise Convention.
The NFC is in 2015 set to offer a bumper program, with keynote speakers including business leaders Steve Sargent and Andrew Demetriou as well as Winter Olympic gold medallist Alisa Camplin OAM already confirmed.
Steve has been the CEO of Australia/NZ for General Electrics for the past four years and is also President and CEO of GE Global Mining, with responsibility for operations in 55 countries, while Andrew was the CEO of the Australian Football League for 11 years before stepping down in June 2014. Their respective business insights will undoubtedly yield some valuable takeaways for attendees of this year’s NFC, while Alisa’s Olympic story and her post-skiing career are sure to motivate and inspire.
More program announcements will be made over the coming weeks and months, so be sure to visit www.franchise.org.au to keep up to date.
We are also excited to take the event back to the Gold Coast this year, where the RACV Royal Pines will play host from Sunday 11 October to Tuesday 13 October, and would encourage you to take advantage of the early bird registration rates that are now on offer.