Not-for-profit Law
Legal help for community organisations

Clients and Consumers

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


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.

Consumer representatives

Some organisations engage consumers to provide independent advice on the organisation’s goods and services. It's important for organisations to recognise that there are particular legal issues associated with the payment by community organisations to consumer representatives. This fact sheet will help your organisation to understand some of the legal considerations when engaging or paying consumer representatives, and some of the matters your organisation may wish to advise a person of when they are considering becoming a consumer representative.

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.

Last Updated: 24 August 2020

Managing People through COVID-19

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