Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Clients

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Clients of your organisation fall into a special category of person.  Several areas of law apply to the relationship between an organisation and its clients.  These include privacy laws, and regulation of the particular industry (for example if health services are provided or your organisation sells food or alcohol).

Privacy

Go to Not-for-profit Law’s page on privacy law for detailed information on privacy requirements and Australia’s privacy regulator.

Duty of care, risk and insurance

Your organisation is likely to owe a duty of care to its service users, and your organisation should consider what potential risks are involved in providing services, and how to manage those risks.

Not-for-profit law has information on Risk and Insurance that can help your organisation assess risks and appropriate responses to risk.

Advertising and consumers

Your group should also make sure that it complies with laws about advertising and promotion when advertising its services. See the Not-for-profit Law page on advertising and communications.

Clients vs members

Remember that people can fall into several categories when they interact with your organisation, for example a member may also be a client.  Your organisation should make sure that it meets its obligations for each circumstance, including maintaining appropriate and separate files of information. For example, a common issue is the recording of sensitive medical information or other inappropriate information on the members register of a not-for-profit.  Medical information should be kept separately to information relating to a person's membership status.

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In Victoria, the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) (Equal Opportunity Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Equal Opportunit Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Human rights

Victoria also has a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities. For more information on how your community organisation can assist with protecting and promoting human rights see Not-for-profit Law’s fact sheet below. This fact sheet includes information on the following issues:

  • the particular human rights protected by the Charter
  • assessing whether the Charter applies to your organisation
  • complying with Charter obligations, and
  • what happens when an organisation breaches the Charter?

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In New South Wales, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Extra Resources - NSW

Extra Resources - Federal 

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In Queensland, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (QLD) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Extra Resources - Queensland

Extra Resources - Federal 

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In South Australia, the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) (Equal Opportunity Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Equal Opportunity Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Extra Resources - South Australia

Extra Resources - Federal 

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In the Northern Territory, the Anti-Discrimination Act (NT) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Extra Resources - Northern Territory

Extra Resources - Federal 

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In the ACT, the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) (Discrimination Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Extra Resources - ACT

Extra Resources - Federal 

Discrimination and sexual harassment when providing services

Discrimination laws may apply to your organisation. In Australia, discrimination laws exist at both a federal and state/territory level.

At a federal level, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) administers the following laws:

The AHRC can investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination under these laws.

In Tasmania, the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas) (Anti-Discrimination Act) also protects a number of personal attributes from discrimination in a number of circumstances. Your organisation needs to know about the personal attributes, the situations covered by the Anti-Discrimination Act, and also the exception and exemptions that are available.

Extra Resources - Tasmania

Extra Resources - Federal 

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