Unfair contracts legislation: update

Will the Federal Government’s proposed extension of unfair contracts legislation to small business be passed as it reads now?

The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Small Business and Unfair Contract Terms) Bill 2015 is set this week to be read in the House of Representatives and then scheduled to be put before the Senate.

According to Kym De Britt, general manager at the Franchise Council of Australia, the FCA has been in negotiations with both the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition in regard to the proposed changes with the view to ensuring the contractual regime that underpins franchising in Australia is not adversely affected by any new unfair contracts laws.

“It is my belief that due to the range of concerns that have been raised about the proposed legislation from a variety of stakeholders, the unfair contracts legislation is unlikely to be passed in its current form and that the proposed legislation will be referred to a Senate committee inquiry,” De Britt said.

If the legislation does go ahead, De Britt hopes the FCA will be invited to discuss its concerns that there are no adverse impacts to the franchising sector.