The law defines goods and services very broadly, and it does not matter whether the goods or services an organisation provides are for payment or not. For example, the standard of food and accommodation in a prison has been held to be a service.
The definition of goods and services includes:
Generally, whether goods or services are provided and the conditions under which they are provided must not relate to a person's:
For example, it would be unlawful to refuse to provide someone with a service because of their race, or to charge women more than men for the same service.
Services need to be accessible to all your clients.
In services and businesses, the service or business owners are legally responsible for making sure that anti-discrimination law is followed. If the service or business owners give the responsibility to a manager, they may also share some of the liability for making sure that the law is followed. Therefore, it is in the interest of service or business owners and managers to make sure that all staff members abide by anti-discrimination law, so that the business is run fairly and properly.
Service providers are responsible for harassment or discrimination:
Many of the laws that apply to providing goods and services also apply to:
It is generally against the law to treat people unfairly in anything connected with a public educational authority – for example, in relation to enrolment, during their time at the educational authority, or in relation to their expulsion or exclusion. This includes state government schools, TAFEs, colleges and universities.
Unfair treatment by a private school or educational authority will generally be against the law only if it is based on a student's race or is sexual harassment. Complaints of disability discrimination against private schools must be made to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The principal of the school or educational authority is generally responsible for ensuring that unfair treatment does not occur, including between students.
It is generally against the law for the owner of a property or a real estate agent to treat a person unfairly in relation to renting residential or commercial accommodation. This includes refusing to provide accommodation, the terms and conditions of a lease and evicting a tenant.
Both the owner of the accommodation and any real estate agent involved are responsible for ensuring that unlawful discrimination does not occur. A real estate agent cannot escape responsibility under anti-discrimination law by saying that they were simply following the wishes of the owner of the property.
However, it is generally OK for people offering private share accommodation to choose who they want to live with and therefore can discriminate against people because of their age, race, sex etc.
It is generally against the law for a person to be treated unfairly by a registered club in relation to eligibility for membership, the terms and conditions of membership and use of the club's facilities. Registered clubs include RSL clubs and some sporting clubs, such as bowling and golf clubs.
The management of the club will generally be legally responsible for any unfair treatment that occurs. It is also against the law for a registered club to treat a person unfairly on the basis of age, disability, homosexuality, marital or domestic status, race, sex (including pregnancy and breastfeeding), or transgender status.
29 Jul 2021
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the ongoing connection Aboriginal people have to this land and recognise Aboriginal people as the original custodians of this land.