Post offices Franchising Code of Conduct

The Franchising Code of Conduct regulates the conduct of franchisees and franchisors.  It is a mandatory industry code under the Trade Practices Act.

The Code protects prospective and current franchisees through its disclosure provisions and its dispute resolution procedure.

The ACCC has responsibility of administering the Franchising Code of Conduct and investigating potential breaches. It may also facilitate discussion between franchisees and franchisors to resolve problems, avoiding the potential for matters being escalated to a point where breaches of the Act arise.

Licensed Post Offices are deemed to be franchisees under the Franchising Code of Conduct and as a result Australia Post and Licensees are bound by the Code.  The Code provides Licensees with an extra level of protection in addition to the LPO Agreement.

An overview of the Franchising Code of Conduct can be found on the ACCC website.

Franchisee manual

The ACCC has put together a franchisee manual to help franchisees and prospective franchisees to understand their rights and responsibilities under the Franchising Code of Conduct. The manual can be downloaded from the ACCC website.

Disclosure Document

Each year, Australia Post is obliged under the Franchising Code of Conduct to prepare a disclosure document for every Licensed Post Office.

Australia Post must provide a copy of the disclosure document to prospective Licensees at least 14 days before the incoming Licensee takes over the LPO.

Under the terms of the Franchising Code of Conduct, Australia Post is required to provide disclosure documents to existing franchisees (Licensees) within 14 days of request. The disclosure document must be updated annually, within four months of the end of the financial year.

This means that Australia Post must have an up-to-date disclosure document prepared for each LPO by 31 October each year. Licensees should request an up-to-date disclosure document from Australia Post each year. By requesting the disclosure document at the beginning of November Licensees will guarantee that they receive the most recent disclosure document relating to their business.

Some of the information included in the disclosure document includes:

  • details of the franchisor (Australia Post), including the business experience of Australia Post management
  • any plans Australia Post may have to establish another outlet nearby
  • details of any litigation involving Australia Post

Current Licensees should mark it on the calendar – request a disclosure document every year from Australia Post. Note that current Licensees can only request a disclosure document from Australia Post once every 12 months.

POAAL has prepared a pro forma letter that Licensees can use to request a copy of the disclosure document from Australia Post.