Home' The Channel Magazine : The Channel April 2017 Contents 48 | The Channel
the Fairwork Ombudsman has recognized that members of
industry bodies like ours are often the most compliant.
ALNA don’t want to see any employee underpaid and we
certainly do not condone the behaviour of a few franchisors
with significant control over their franchisees, who have acted
improperly. Nonetheless, it is one of our primary roles to
educate our members on their workplace relations obligations,
and we are concerned about the implications of this Bill, as
it appears to be making the many responsible for the wrong
doing of a few.
In our industry, we don’t have a substantial group of
migrant workers employed in our businesses and the franchise
models present, operate in only a portion of our business. They
may represent somewhere between 10-60% of the business
individually, depending on the outlet, but very rarely would
they cover the whole business. Those franchisors only exert
significant control over a single aspect of the business, not the
whole, and so consequently it would be almost impossible for
a franchisor to determine which employee is working in the
franchise or in other aspects of the business at any one time.
ALNA argues legislating to deal with an issue effecting a
small number of franchisors, while impacting negatively the
whole franchising industry, has the potential undermine the
validity of franchising overall and make life very difficult for
small business owners.
ALNA suggest the model needs to be reasonable for the
diversity of franchise types and the model in our industry does
not neatly fit with the way this Bill is drafted. The concept of a
joint employer liability on any aspect of our business is frankly
quite scary for the freedom of small businesses to determine
their own operational destiny, which is why most people start a
small business in the first place.
ALNA have strongly advised that legislators need to
consider the increased risk factors that this bill will create.
Franchisors will pass on any costs of new liabilities and any
obligations of this potential new regulation to franchisees,
which will cost them more in both time and money. It may also
create pathways for civil legal action for instance, which is a
ALNA Policy Manager, Ben Kearney, says “Workplace
Relations is already too complex, small businesses are not
little big businesses, they are small businesses, and an inability
ALNA Submission on
Fair Work Amendment
Workers) Bill 2017
LNA Policy, Government and Stakeholder
Relations General Manger, Ben Kearney, recently
attended a round table hosted by COSBOA in
relation to the proposed bill.
The Round Table was attended by representatives from the Fair
Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission;
Kate Carnell the Small Business & Family Enterprise
COSBOA Chairman Paul Nielsen and Directors Mark
McKenzie, Pam Price and Dominic Schipano;
Bruce Billson Chair of the Franchise Council of Australia;
Alan Fels from the Migrant Workers Task Force;
representatives from the Black Economy Task Force;
Senator Jane Hume; Ed Husic MP;
Judy O’Connell the Victorian Small Business
Commissioner; and various industry representatives and
ALNA has recently made a submission to the Senate Education
and Employment Committees in relation to the proposed Fair
Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017.
ALNA has informed the committees, that the majority of
our members are involved in franchising, predominantly as
Lottery retailers. They operate under Franchise agreements
with Tatts Group and its subsidiaries in all states and territories,
except Western Australia, where our members operate under
agreements with Lotterywest.
Many of them also are franchisees with overall banner
marketing and or franchising groups and with other sub-brand
category offers in their stores.
Consequently, members are very concerned about any
uncertainty and potential implications that may flow from the
Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill
2017, which seeks to share Workplace relations liability with
We have informed the committee that as responsible
business owners, our members are overwhelmingly part of our
industry body in order to understand and remain compliant
with their workplace relations obligations. The Fair Work Act
already has strong laws for our members to comply with and
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