The federal government has established a franchising taskforce to advise on reforms to the sector and build a framework that supports franchisees and franchisors.

The taskforce will examine the recommendations of the Fairness in Franchising report, which were designed to strengthen and expand protections for franchisees.

Franchisees may be allowed to take collective action, which would reduce the cost of resolving disputes.

There may also be tougher penalties imposed for a breach of the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Small business minister Senator Michaelia Cash said a healthy franchising sector would have benefits for the broader Australian economy.

“The taskforce will develop the government’s response to the report by carefully considering changes to the regulation of franchising to make it fair and effective for both franchisors and franchisees, while avoiding unnecessary regulatory burden,” she said.

“There are around 80,000 franchisees in Australia – mainly small and family businesses employing more than 470,000 Australians.”

The taskforce includes senior officers from the Department of the Treasury; the Department of Employment, Skills, Small & Family Business; and the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.

It will consult with stakeholders and other government departments and agencies, including the ACCC.