Welcome to the latest issue of the Addisons Direct Selling Legal Update.
There have been a number of significant issues affecting the direct selling sector which have occurred since our last newsletter. Some of the issues are addressed in this edition.
Australian Consumer Law Review – Final Report Released- What next for those in the direct selling industry?
Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand released its long awaited Final Report on the Australian Consumer Law Review in April 2017. The Report makes a number of recommendations and proposals, which are of particular relevance to the direct selling industry.
We outline some of those recommendations and proposals in our Focus Paper, including those relating to unsolicited consumer agreements and a general prohibition in respect of unfair trading.
Federal Court orders Acquire to pay a $4.5 million penalty - A lesson in how not to conduct telemarketing activities - Unconscionable conduct, misleading and false representations and breaches of the unsolicited selling provisions of the Australian Consumer Law
On 30 May 2017, the Federal Court ordered Acquire Learning and Careers Pty Ltd to pay penalties of $4.5 million for engaging in unconscionable conduct, making false or misleading representations and breaching the unsolicited consumer agreement provisions contained in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). This decision is a timely reminder of the importance of providing your salesforce with regular compliance training, especially in respect of the specific requirements for unsolicited selling which are prescribed in the ACL.
Mandatory Data Breach Notification Requirements - Is your direct selling business ready for 2018?
From 22 February 2018, it will be mandatory for businesses to notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and any affected individuals in certain circumstances if the business suffers a data breach. In this Focus Paper, we consider these requirements and summarise what your business will need to do to comply.
The Devil is in the detail - GST threshold for low value goods to be removed with effect from 1 July 2018 - What does this mean for the direct selling industry?
From 1 July 2017, Australia’s goods and services tax (GST) laws will be significantly overhauled. The amendments to the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (the GST Act) will result in the removal of the exemption from the requirement to pay goods and service tax (GST) for imports of goods which have a value of less than AUD $1,000 (the GST Threshold). The amendments to the GST Act were made to take effect from 1 July 2017. However, an amendment made by the Senate overnight has changed the start date to 1 July 2018. That amendment must also be passed by the House of Representatives, but indications are that it will be accepted.
Retail leasing law in NSW – what you need to know
The purpose of this Focus Paper is to help you determine if you are a tenant of a retail shop and to provide an update on recent changes to retail leasing law that could affect you. There may be particular benefits of which you are not aware.
Unfair contract terms protecting consumers extended to protect small businesses - Do your agreements with your salesforce comply with the new requirements?
In November 2016, the ACL was amended so that the unfair contract term provisions which protect consumers now also protect small businesses. The amendments apply to any new small business contract entered into or renewed after that date. If an existing contract is varied after this date, the new laws will also apply to the varied terms.
Have you checked your contracts to ensure that they comply with the new laws? If you have not already done so, your standard form agreements with your independent salespeople should be reviewed as soon as possible to minimise the risk of important contractual terms not being enforceable and/or in contravention of key ACL provisions.
We trust that you enjoy this edition of our Addisons Direct Selling Legal Update. If you have any queries or wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact any of Addisons’ Direct Selling team.