ACCC launches small business report, serves notice on franchisors

Dr Michael Schaper, Deputy Chair, ACCC

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Dr Michael Schaper launched the tenth issue of Small Business in Focus at the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) national summit held in Sydney on July 16-17.

Welcome news for petrol and convenience store franchisees is that franchising is one of the ACCC’s enforcement priorities for 2015 and that the ACCC has served audit notices on 12 franchisors to check their compliance with the new Code.

At the Summit, Treasurer Joe Hockey pledged to create a level playing field between local companies and large multinationals. “Of course, without tax reform, small businesses will not have the opportunity that it needs,” he said.

ACCC small biz reportThe Focus report contains the latest small business and franchising complaints data and highlights the ACCC’s activities in the small business sector.

“Misleading conduct and false representations remain the most frequently complained about area for small businesses, with over 1300 complaints received in the January to June 2015 period. Product safety issues also concerned small businesses with over 900 complaints received,” Dr Schaper said.

Overall, from January to June 2015 there were 5,020 small business complaints and 2,366 small business enquiries.

The introduction of the new Franchising Code on January 1, 2015 was reflected in a significant growth in franchising-related enquiries – the six months from 1 January 2015 saw a 63% increase in enquiries over 2014.

“Franchisors, franchisees and would-be franchisees are recognising the need to educate themselves about the new Code to ensure they understand their rights and obligations under the law,” Dr Schaper said.

The Food and Grocery Code was introduced into law in June, which Aldi, Woolworths, Coles and Aboutlife signed up to and the ACCC has developed guidance on the code.

“Businesses that supply the major retailers have significant new protections available to them under the Code. The ACCC has the power to investigate alleged breaches of the code, and can take enforcement action if necessary,” Dr Schaper said.

2 thoughts on “ACCC launches small business report, serves notice on franchisors”

  1. Dear Dr Schaper,You must take note that in your actions against businesses in the non-union private sector across australia,NOT to rely on the information you are getting from the F.W.C.& F.W.O..Why-well the fairwork legislation was put together by Labor in the offices of the Carr /della-Bosca N.S.W.’s Govt. in 2006/ was primarily meant to damage the non-union private sector and give more coverage to the unionised sector that they controlled[see T.U.R.C.]The legislation was brought in unlawfully by demands by the then Workplace relations Minister to the A.I.R.C. registrar Mr. Williams and the head Justice Giuduce week ending 28/3/2008.Despite no more bargaining agreements being allowed after 2008-fairwork and the unions continued and still continue to pass bargaining agreements that allow unionised business to bypass the modern Awards “level playing field “conditions.Fairwork has not had a contract to operate in most states since we informed the government that they were unlawful in 2011/12.However both state & federal leaders allowed them to continue to unfairly and unlawfully pressure the Small business sector to pay arbitary claims by employees.Businesses that fight back -their emplyee is advised by fairwork to take their claim to the Local Magistrates small claims court !!!.Why,well this absolves them of responsibility later when this terrible state of affairs comes into the public arena.At the moment states are re-naming the fairwork legislation that is suspended as their own and putting it back in the state domain.That is why fairwork was split up and renamed in 2012,It is my claim that the F.W.O. will cease to operate next year,however a re-named unlawfully introduced corrupt set of guidelines does not become Lawful just because it is renamed and still is tainted by those inclusions and exclusions that were demanded unlawfully by the minister in the first place.I have a wealth of evidence on these matters if you wish for a face to face discussion on this subject.The A.C.C.C. will be liable for damages when this matter is finally corrected in the parliament & law courts in the near future,thank you for your time,sincerely mike stone-07-49452409

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