In previous Franchising Updates1, we reported on the Wein Review of the Franchising Code of Conduct (Code) and the Abbott Government's response to the recommendations in the Wein Report.
On 2 April 2014, the Government issued its Future of Franchising statement (Statement) and issued, for public consultation, its exposure draft of amendments to the Code, and to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) to give effect to the Statement. The public consultation process will be open until 30 April 2014, with the proposed changes to come into effect on 1 January 2015.
The proposed changes will not only impact the franchisor/franchisee relationship generally but also the nature of the documentation between franchisor and franchisee.
Key aspects of the proposed reforms to the Code and the CCA include:
Should the current public consultation process not result in significant changes to the exposure draft or the timing for implementation of the proposed amendments, the franchising landscape will be materially different from 1 January 2015.
For franchisors in particular, some of the 'red tape' will be gone but in its place will be new obligations. Franchisors will need to carefully review and make any appropriate changes to their franchise documentation to ensure compliance with the Code, as amended, and avoid the risk of civil pecuniary penalties or infringement notices being imposed.
K&L Gates has extensive experience in assisting clients with their compliance obligations under the Code and the CCA, and we can assist you to prepare for these changes.
 Franchising Update - February 2014; Franchising Update - April 2013; Franchising Update - February 2013
This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer.