7/Eleven proposes franchise reformBY Australian Retailers Association
7-Eleven is proposing a range of critical industry reforms to underpin standards and entrench ethical behaviours across Australia’s franchise sector.
7-Eleven’s reform proposals are designed to provide greater protections for workers in the franchise industry, reduce the risk of workplace law compliance failures and provide more effective sanction options for such failures. 7-Eleven is advocating for a:
- Modification to the termination provisions in the Franchising Code of Conduct and the Oil Code(applicable industry codes) to provide franchisors with a right to immediately terminate a franchise agreement in the case of “serious non-compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws or Fair Work instruments”
- Harmonisation of the relevant provisions of the two Codes
- Expansion of franchisor responsibilities within the applicable industry codes, and
- Review of the conditions attached to student visas to ensure the current system is not inadvertently creating the ‘supply side’ of the worker exploitation equation.
7-Eleven Chairman, Michael Smith, said “it is important the company takes the lead in effecting positive change that will preserve and enhance the industry’s reputation by setting standards that meet communication expectations.
“The proposals provide clarity of responsibilities, remedies and sanctions for everyone involved in the industry, and seek to significantly diminish the potential for companies and/or individuals to exploit workers.
“Our advocacy is based on the workplace challenges 7-Eleven has confronted and the actions we have taken to improve compliance, governance and transparency across our store network.
“We are urging Government and stakeholders in the franchise sector to support these reforms and I look forward to a positive and balanced debate that will lead to real and lasting solutions,” Mr. Smith said.
While the fundamental structure of the franchise model both in Australia and overseas relies on the separation and independence of franchisor and franchisee businesses, community expectations and standards are such that all businesses that bear a brand must meet appropriate workplace standards.
7-Eleven accepts that to move forward, all franchisors must do more to ensure that all standards – including Australian workplace laws - are fully upheld.
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Australian Retailers Association
Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.