Franchise Council submits recommendations to Parliamentary Inquiry into Franchising Code

Franchise Council submits recommendations to Parliamentary Inquiry into Franchising Code

The Chief Executive Officer of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Mary Aldred today presented a detailed submission of comments and recommendations to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Addressing the Inquiry hearing in Canberra, Ms Aldred said: “It is essential that the community have confidence in franchising and the Franchise Council has been intently following submissions and testimony at the inquiry to determine required actions and priorities”.

“The FCA is not prepared to excuse poor behavior or standards. Allegations of wrong doing should be properly investigated in a timely manner, and if proven, dealt with accordingly”.

“A number of the stories that emerged through the Inquiry are sad and disappointing. Some of them highlight simply inexcusable behavior. “

“The Franchise Council has defined standards that members agree to abide by but it cannot apply legal penalties for wrongdoing. That role rightly sits with the regulator”.

“Some of the franchise businesses that have appeared to before the Inquiry are FCA members. Some others are not. The FCA seeks to work with members to drive compliance, best practice standards and education and hopes that is adopted across franchising.”

The FCA identified a number of key themes distilled from various submissions to the Inquiry, and has made some key recommendations in its Supplementary Submission, including:

  • Mandatory legal and business advice prior to purchase of a franchise;
  • The introduction of a mandatory franchise registration requirement;
  • Refinement of ACCC compliance checking processes and enforcement actions;
  • Support of some (but not all) of the amendments requested by the ACCC;
  • Consideration of reinstating simplified franchisee-to-franchisee disclosure;
  • Improving the effectiveness of the Code’s dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Translation of the Franchising Information Statement into multiple languages;
  • Review and enhancement of pre-entry educational content, with a focus on broader business skills and the needs of new entrants to Australia;
  • Compilation of national list of franchising lawyers and advisors to better facilitate legal and business advice.

The FCA is committed to improving standards and behavior in the sector and driving a focus on education and compliance, and our recommendations in response to the inquiry our set out in detail in our supplementary submission.

For more information, please contact: Sean Dignum, Communication Adviser to Franchise Council of Australia 0418 586 587 or sean.dignum@franchise.org.au

Franchise Council submits recommendations to Parliamentary Inquiry into Franchising Code