Is the model of business format franchising broken? And can it be fixed? (May 2018)

Professor Jenny Buchan, University of New South Wales and Dr Tess Hardy, Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law

CELRL Labour Law Seminar

Is the model of business format franchising broken? And can it be fixed?

Seminar presented by Professor Jenny Buchan and Dr Tess Hardy

Wednesday 9 May 2018: 1–2pm at Melbourne Law School

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About the event

The media is again awash with stories of franchising woe. Looming questions remain about the viability and sustainability of business format franchising in Australia and the effectiveness (or otherwise) of the legal regulation of this organisational model. Such concerns have not only prompted far-reaching reforms to federal labour laws, but a parliamentary inquiry is now on foot. This joint seminar will provide complementary perspectives on some of the most pressing legal issues facing the franchising sector. Professor Jenny Buchan will explore the many myths that surround the business format franchise model. These include: that franchising is more successful than stand-alone businesses; that if only franchisees would do proper due diligence they would not buy into dud systems; and that all solutions lie with a stronger Franchising Code of Conduct and a better resourced ACCC. Dr Tess Hardy will discuss key provisions of the Protecting Vulnerable Workers’ legislation aimed at addressing the problem of systemic wage theft in franchises. She will also consider the way in which competition and consumer regulation can facilitate and hinder franchisee compliance with labour standards

About the speakers

Dr Jenny Buchan is a Professor of Business Law in the Business School, at UNSW Sydney. She is an alumna of Melbourne Law School (LLM, 1993). Jenny has a wide range of experience in academe, industry and legal practice. Before joining UNSW, she was a commercial lawyer in New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney for many years. Jenny’s research spans many aspects of franchise law including franchisees as consumers, contracts, due diligence, and franchisor insolvency. She teaches international franchise law to business students at UNSW and delivered the first International Franchise Law MOOC to students in over 160 countries in 2016. Jenny has extensive involvement in small business and franchising. She has been a member of the Franchise Consultative Committee of the ACCC since 2010 and is currently a member of its Small Business and Franchising Consultative Committee.\

Dr Tess Hardy is a Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at Melbourne Law School. Tess’ research spans the fields of regulatory theory, contract, labour law and competition and consumer regulation. In late 2017, Tess was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher grant to further her research into the regulation of work in franchises. Tess has worked as a consultant for the International Labour Organisation and was previously engaged as a Research Fellow on an ARC Linkage Project (with partner organisation, the Fair Work Ombudsman). Prior to joining academia, Tess worked as a legal practitioner in Melbourne, Tokyo and Hong Kong principally in the area of workplace relations law. Tess was previously the Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Law and currently sits on the national committee of the Australian Labour Law Association.