The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has named its key enforcement and compliance focuses for 2017, including misleading and deceptive practices, anti-competitive conduct and unfair contract terms affecting small businesses.
The ACCC launched their 2017 Compliance and Enforcement policy in February detailing the industries and issues on its hit list. Among their priorities are unfair contract terms, cartels, and misconduct in the health, construction and agriculture sectors.
One of the major areas of focus is unfair contracts, following the introduction of new laws in 2016 to protect small business. The new legislation was introduced so that large companies can no longer have unilateral terms in their standard contracts that put small businesses at a significant disadvantage.
The health sector is also in the watchdog’s sights as the ACCC continues to work with the private health insurance industry to improve compliance with Australian Consumer Law.
The ACCC has also established a new commercial construction investigation unit to focus on competition issues and fresh concerns about anti-competitive conduct in the commercial construction sector.
The consumer watchdog will also broaden its scope of work in relation to consumer guarantees. In particular, the ACCC will be looking at the application of consumer guarantees to both complex products and services. There will be consideration and investigations into practices in the airline, telecommunication and motor vehicle industries to ensure compliance.