Class exemption for collective bargaining

Public news

The ACCC has announced it is seeking feedback in regards to a potential 'class exemption' to allow small businesses, agribusinesses and franchisees to negotiate collectively with customers, suppliers and franchisors.

Collective bargaining by a group of businesses is currently not allowed under Australian Competition Law, unless the group first obtains formal approval from the ACCC. A collective bargaining class exemption would provide a ‘safe harbour’, so businesses that qualify can collectively bargain without the risk of breaching competition law.

A class exemption is a way for the ACCC to grant businesses an exemption from competition law for certain ‘classes of conduct’ that may otherwise carry a risk of breaching competition laws, but:

  • do not substantially lessen competition, and/or
  • are likely to result in overall public benefits.

  • The MTA is consulting with members as to the suitability of these arrangements in regards to franchise and collision repair agreements.

    If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, click here to contact Industry Policy Specialist Nathan Robinson.