11/09/2018Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, Franchising, Employee Issues, Legislation

Key Points -

  • In a recent press-release, the FWO has re-emphasised franchisor’s obligations to avoid liability for breaches by their franchisees under new laws introduced in 2017

  • Australian workplace laws are complicated, but once you are in the FWO’s sights, it can be hard to avoid publicity for sometimes minor errors

  • We believe these issues and unwanted media attention can be avoided with the assistance from specialists such as ER Strategies.

Recent FWO Media Release

This time around, more Dominos franchisees are in trouble for alleged underpayments, non-payment for hours worked, non-payment of allowances and entitlements, unauthorised deductions and other breaches of workplace laws. 

Under the recent amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009, franchisors can now also be held liable for breaches by their franchisees, unless the franchisor can show it has taken reasonable steps to prevent breaches of employment obligations by their franchisees. In addition, civil penalties have also been increased substantially. 

So what are reasonable steps? 

The FWO recently issued guidance as to the ‘reasonable steps’ that franchisors should take. To read our previous article on the 'Reasonable Steps', please click here.  

To read our comparison of our services against the FWO's compliance checklist, click here.

The FWO divided actions into 4 categories – 

‘Set expectations’ is where the franchisor drafts an agreement between the franchisor and franchisee, where by the franchisee agrees to be compliant with workplace obligations and regulations.  

‘Educate’ is where the franchisor hosts induction and training programs for fellow franchisees, continuously reinforce the need for workplace compliance and provide efficient and high-quality advice when necessary.

‘Monitor’ is where by the franchisor set up and implement an audit program; conduct audits on a periodic basis, to ensure workplace compliance and rectify breaches if applicable. 

‘Take action’ is whereby the franchisor set up and maintain a contingency system, this plan is there to guide the company in the event breaches. This system also provides to the franchisor a guide in terms of what to do if the franchisee deliberate breach workplace obligations.

How ER Strategies Promotes Workplace Law Compliance via WorkShield

  • Access to expert telephone advice on employment obligations 

  • Simple, easy to read information, such as one-page wage schedules

  • Online training modules,

  • Payroll audits included to ensure compliance,

If you have any questions about how the new Vulnerable Workers laws may affect your business, please contact ER Strategies on 1300 55 66 37 for more information and to discuss your specific situation.

Article Discussion