The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a free online education program for small businesses to help them learn about their rights and obligations under Australian competition and consumer laws – but mainly their obligations.
The program provides small businesses with a simple, interactive learning resource which provides an overview of the Australian Consumer Law and Competition and Consumer Act (2010). It covers common questions such as what businesses can say in their advertising, what to do if they realise they are selling an unsafe product, and when they must provide a customer with a repair, replacement or refund.
‘Small businesses have a range of legal protections when dealing with their suppliers and other businesses. They also have a number of obligations when dealing with their customers,’ ACCC deputy chair Michael Schaper said.
‘The ACCC is committed to helping businesses understand their rights and responsibilities. We recognise that small business operators are busy running their businesses and need simple, clear information which can be accessed at their own pace.’
The online program consists of 10 modules on specific topics, each of which should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Users can work through the entire set of modules or select only those topics most relevant to their business operations. At the end of most modules, users can do a short self-assessment quiz to test their understanding of the topic.
Given ignorance of the law is almost never a defence, it could be well worth having all sales staff undertake the program as part of ongoing training.
‘I strongly encourage small businesses to take advantage of this free online education program. Small businesses represent 96 per cent of all businesses in Australia so it is vital they understand their rights and obligations under competition and consumer law,’ Schaper said.
The free online education program for small business is available by clicking here.