Franchisors may be able to avoid liability for franchisees’ conduct under the Estate Agents Act

Franchisors’ joint and several liability for the negligence and defalcations of their franchisee estate agents has been cast into doubt by a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria. In Secretary to the Department of Justice & Regulation v Century 21 Australia Pty Ltd1 , the court narrowly read the definition of “franchising agreement” […]

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Franchisors exposed for franchisee failures with passage of Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017

Further to our update, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 (Act) has been passed by the Australian Parliament after modification by the Senate. The Act became law on 15 September 2017. Franchisors will come under the new regime from 27 October 2017. Introduced following revelations of franchisees breaching their obligations as employers, […]

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Court of Appeal clarifies “franchising” under the Estate Agents Act

As anticipated in our previous update, the Supreme Court’s decision in Secretary to the Department of Justice & Regulation v Century 21 Australia Pty Ltd, affecting franchisors’ liability under the Estate Agents Act 1980 (the Act) was appealed by the government. Success in that appeal means the concept of “franchising agreement” for Victorian estate agents […]

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Amendments to Fair Work Act to create new compliance issues for the franchising sector

Following a number of recent high profile cases involving franchisees breaching their obligations as employers, the Government introduced the Fair Work (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017. The Bill proposes amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to: introduce increasing civil penalty provisions of up to 600 penalty units ($108,000) for individuals or 3,000 penalty […]

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