• Commercial & Business Law

    Commercial & Business Law

    We are first and foremost lawyers for business people.  Our team will work with you to develop, manage and execute your business plan while ensuring you exploit opportunities, manage risks and achieve commercial success.  

    Service includes:
  • Dispute Resolution & Litigation

    Dispute Resolution & Litigation

    Specialists in commercial dispute resolution, we appreciate that resolving a dispute requires more than just following court processes. You can trust Taurus to be in your corner, and fight to deliver results.


    Service includes:
  • Property, Construction & Conveyancing

    Property, Construction & Conveyancing

    Enhanced by a wealth of experience, Taurus’ conveyancing lawyers in Melbourne can assist businesses with everything from managing leases, to complex property development projects.

  • Intellectual Property

    Intellectual Property

    One of the most valuable assets of any business is its intellectual property. We empower our clients to protect their brand, systems and confidential information by offering them a broad range of legal services related to their IP.

  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy

    Insolvency & Bankruptcy

    We act on behalf of creditors, debtors, and insolvency practitioners in a variety of re-structuring and insolvency matters.

  • Debt Recovery

    Debt Recovery

    We will recover your debts as if they were our own. For many owners, directors, and managers, debt recovery is one of the most confronting and challenging aspects of running a business. It is also crucial to the cash flow of the business, and therefore critical to its financial success.

  • Employment Law

    Employment Law

    We help our clients meet the demands and challenges of managing their workforce.

    Our team can assist in any employment law matter ranging from drafting employment agreements to giving termination advice and handling unfair dismissal applications.


On 5 September 2017, the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017 (the Bill) was passed by both houses of Parliament. The Bill has recently received Royal Assent, making changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Act)

Significant Changes

There are significant changes for franchisors, in the aim of protecting vulnerable workers. Some of the significant amendments include:

  • making franchisors and holding companies responsible for underpayments by their franchisees or subsidiaries in certain circumstances;

  • increased penalties for ‘serious contraventions’ of workplace laws;

  • increased penalties for breaches of record-keeping and pay slip obligations; and

  • stronger powers of the Fair Work Ombudsman to collect evidence in their investigations

Responsibility for Underpayments

One of the critical changes for franchisors is their increased responsibility for underpayments made by their franchisees or subsidiaries. The franchisor may be liable where the franchisor:

  • had a significant degree of influence or control over the franchisee’s affairs;

  • knew or ought to have known that the contravention would occur; and

  • failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the contraventions.

In determining whether the franchisor took reasonable steps to prevent the contravention, the Court may have regard to all relevant matters, including:

  • the size and resources of the franchise;

  • the ability to influence or control the contravening employer’s conduct concerning the contravention;

  • any action taken to ensure the contravening employer’s compliance with the appropriate laws and/or their understanding of such laws;

  • the arrangements for receiving and addressing possible complaints about alleged underpayments or other contraventions; and

  • whether the franchisor gave any encouragement or requirement to comply with the Act to the contravening employer.

There are also similar provisions for a franchisee’s contravention of the National Employment Standards and pay slip obligations.


Despite the increased obligations on franchisors, there are provisions allowing for the franchisor to pursue a claim against the contravening employer. For instance, where a franchisor has paid an amount for a contravening employer’s underpayment, the franchisor may commence proceedings against the contravening employer in the Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court or an eligible State or Territory Court.

Should you wish to discuss any of the changes to the Act or concerns regarding your franchise, contact a business lawyer. Feel free to call Alex Martin, on (03) 9481 2000.

Posted by Taurus Legal Management