Australian businesses that breach the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) may face harsher penalties in the near future. Recent violations of the ACL include not supplying goods to customers within a reasonable timeframe, and store employees failing to provide accurate warranty advice.
Following the upcoming review of the ACL, the ACCC has recently voiced concerns over whether the current penalty regime is strong enough to deter large businesses from engaging in deceptive conduct.
Australian companies currently face a maximum penalty of $1.1 million per contravention of the law, while individuals can be fined up to $220,000 per violation.
One of the ACCC’s key concerns regarding the adequacy of the current penalty regime is whether such penalties are a sufficient deterrent to organisations with large turnovers who can easily manage such fines.
Consumer Affairs Australia and New Zealand is set to review the current legislation in 2016. A final report is expected to be published in March 2017.