• Commercial Law

    Commercial Law

    We are business people as much as we are lawyers. We will take care of the legal documents so you can confidently run your business.
    As your business grows, its risk profile and governance challenges will change. We partner with our clients over the long term to ensure they are in the driver’s seat for success.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Dispute Resolution

    We are in your corner when the going gets tough. Having resolved over 6,500 disputes for business owners have seen it all before.

    Whether you need a skilled negotiator or a fearless litigator, we specialise in delivering commercial results when:

    Customers refuse to pay;
    Suppliers let you down; and
    Business Partners do the wrong thing.

  • Employment & Safety

    Employment & Safety

    The biggest challenge for any business owner, is managing their employees.

    A difficult employee can make you question why you got into business in the first place and be toxic to your team morale.

    We deliver proactive solutions to manage your team via employment contracts, policies and procedures as well as handling employment disputes when they arise.

  • Property & Construction

    Property & Construction

    Property is the key most wealth in Australia.  Whether you are buying, selling, leasing or developing property, you need a lawyer you can count on.

    We can advise on the whole property development process from obtaining finance to development approvals, construction and sale or leasing.

    We also act for the Master Builders Victoria and have extensive expertise in construction contracts and disputes.

  • Family Law

    Family Law

    At Taurus Legal Management we understand the unique challenges clients encounter during family disputes, especially when children are involved. Our family lawyers specialise in handling high-asset cases with a focus on protecting clients wealth, securing their family’s future, and safeguarding the best interests of their children.


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