Summative assessment 1
There are a number of key provisions of relevant legislation and regulations from all levels of government that may affect aspects of business operations, such as:
- Anti-discrimination legislation.
- Ethical principles.
- Codes of practice.
- Privacy laws.
- Financial legislation.
- Health and safety legislation.
- Consumer law.
- Credit procedures legislation and regulations.
Why is it necessary to have a working knowledge of the legislation that affects customer service operations?
Describe legislation and its impact on quality customer service. (150–180 words)
The legislation sets the boundaries of what is and isn’t legal for a business. It is important for the business to know their legal rights and responsibilities. If the business does not have a clear understanding of these laws it could lose its legal right to operate and the staff involved in the wrongdoings could be criminally prosecuted and sent to jail or heavily penalised financially. A business cannot claim legal ignorance when the employees within it are been prosecuted.
Anti-discrimination legislation – A customer cannot be discriminated against based on their age, disability, sexual preferences, marital and domestic status, race, sex or transgender status. A business must be accessible to all clients.
Ethical principles – Describes the kind of behaviour an ethical person should and should not engage in. The ethical principles that a business should practice are honesty, integrity, trustworthy, loyalty, fairness, compassion, law-abiding, respect, commitment to excellence and accountability.
Codes of practice – A Code of Practice is a practical guide to achieve the standards of health and safety required under the legislation. Codes of Practice provide duty holders with guidance on effective ways to manage work health and safety risks. It includes working in confined spaces, construction work practices, fatigue management, first aid, working with hazardous materials, management of work health and safety risk, labelling hazardous materials, managing noise levels, managing risks and falls in the workplace, managing work environment and facilities, and work health and safety consultations.
Privacy laws – The rules for protecting your privacy are set out in 10 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs). The requirements of the IPPs can be divided into four categories: Collection of information, Use and Disclosure, Management of information and Openness.
Financial legislation – The Financial Management Act provides governing principles for the financial management and a financial framework within an organisation on how to manage its resources. This includes the accounting framework, duties of accountable employees and principles of budget and funds management. The Fiscal Integrity and Transparency Act establishes the principles underpinning the organisation’s financial policy, financial management and reporting to include the Budget and the Annual Financial Report.
Health and safety legislation – Administers the following: Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act, Return to Work Act, Dangerous Goods Act, Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (National Uniform Legislation) Act, Radioactive Ores and Concentrates (Packaging and Transport) Act, Electricity Reform Act and Work Health Administration Act.
Consumer law – The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) includes:
• a national unfair contract terms law covering standard form consumer and small business contracts;
• a national law guaranteeing consumer rights when buying goods and services;
• a national product safety law and enforcement system;
• a national law for unsolicited consumer agreements covering door-to-door sales and telephone sales;
• simple national rules for lay-by agreements; and
• penalties, enforcement powers and consumer redress options.
Credit procedures legislation and regulation – This legislation includes:
• the National Credit Code (which is in Schedule 1 to the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009
(National Credit Act)) – which contains requirements in relation to the entry into, terms and enforcement of
credit contracts and consumer leases
•the National Credit Act – which contains requirements for persons who are involved in consumers obtaining
credit contracts or consumer leases (including both the credit providers and lessors and other persons such
as finance brokers) to be licensed and to comply with responsible lending requirements.