Tougher penalties for consumer law breaches

27 August 2018

 

Last week the Federal Parliament passed legislation to increase penalties for breaches under the Australian Consumer Law to $10 million for companies and $500,000 for individuals.

Previously, companies faced a maximum penalty of $1.1 million and individuals $220,00 per consumer breach.

To date, we have seen a number of estate agents issued with substantial penalties by the Federal Court for breaches of the consumer law relating to misleading and deceptive conduct.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Simms said in a statement last week “penalties need to hit the bottom line so they are not simply seen as the cost of doing business. Perhaps more important, penalties need to be high enough to be noticed by senior managers so that compliance with law is a higher priority.”

With the rapid increase in scrutiny around compliance, it is critical for estate agencies to implement processes that will effectively respond to and mitigate risks of non-compliance.

An effective compliance program is an important aspect of an estate agency’s overall risk management framework and avoiding the substantial monetary penalties that may occur.

Apex HR works with estate agencies to develop and implement compliance programs appropriate for their business operations. Contact us to discuss how we can assist you implementing processes that will help protect your bottom line.

If you have any questions regarding the changes please do not hesitate to contact us.

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