Important Update: AFTA party to ACCC Determination on collective negotiation.
12 May 2020
On 12 May 2020, the National Retail Association Limited, Australian Hotels Association, Franchise Council of Australia Limited, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Australian Newsagents’ Federation Limited and Australian Federation of Travel Agents Limited (the Applicants) applied for authorisation on behalf of their current and future members.
The Applicants have applied for authorisation to enable their tenant members who have been adversely affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic to discuss, share information and collectively negotiate with landlords regarding the support to be provided to tenants by landlords (the Proposed Tenant Conduct). The Applicants have also applied for authorisation to enable their landlord members to discuss and share information and make and give effect to agreements as to the nature of the relief to be offered to small and medium-sized enterprise tenants or classes of such tenants by landlords (the Proposed Landlord Conduct).
On 19 May 2020, the ACCC granted urgent interim authorisation for the Proposed Tenant Conduct and the Proposed Landlord Conduct.
On 2 July, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation until 1 September 2021, subject to record keeping and reporting conditions. The draft determination also replaces the interim authorisation granted on 19 May 2020 with a new interim authorisation. The full draft determination document is linked below.
On 6 August 2020, the ACCC issued a determination granting conditional authorisation to the Applicants to give effect to the Proposed Tenant Conduct and the Proposed Landlord Conduct. Authorisation has been granted until 1 September 2021.
AFTA, as an applicant to the determination, must collect from their members and maintain records of all material meetings or communications engaged in by its members in relation to Tenant Conduct or Landlord Conduct, including the participants in the meeting or communication, the topics discussed, any written information or data exchanged, and material decisions made.
Any member wishing to rely on the Determination by ACCC to collectively bargain should contact Naomi Menon at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure reporting obligations are met. Refer cl 4.11 of the Determination.
Under the scheme, landlords are instructed to reduce their commercial tenant’s rent in proportion to the tenants lost revenue to the impact of COVID-19.
To read the Prime Ministers full media statement - Click Here.
On 14 April AFTA conducted a webinar to help members understand the Code. Watch this below.