Equal opportunities and the importance of avoiding discrimination is part of the parcel when it comes to employment and running a business in the 21st Century. No longer can we discriminate against age, disability or race. But discrimination doesn’t just refer to your staff members, but also to your clients. At the end of 2015, new laws came in which gave clients more rights to complain.
Any business that provides goods, facilities or services to members of the public has to protect their clients in the delivery of services. To avoid problems, a business must not refuse or limit the services offered to specific demographics, including religion, sex, pregnancy, marriage, etc. Whilst you have to be careful about what you do that may be seen as discriminatory, you can however still offer a single-sex service in your salon for either men or women, but you need to do so by being able to objectively justify the reasons.
So what exactly does the consumer rights act say?
- As a business you will need to ensure that you have a written complaints policy in place, which is actively communicated to staff so your team know exactly what to do should a problem with a client arise and what procedure to follow
- If a client makes a complaint that isn’t resolved within 8 weeks, it can be referred to something called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- It will be your responsibility as a business to inform your clients where and how to find an ADR service after 8 weeks has passed
- Should a service not be carried out with “reasonable” care and skill, a client can ask you to fix or repeat a service
- If an unreasonable service has been carried out and cannot be fixed, your client can ask to get some money back
For more information, head to the NHF website to read their Guide to Customer Complaints.