In a scenario where there is a consumer and a business engaging in a potential transaction, there can be complications that arise when it comes to legal rights and responsibilities.


It is rare that an individual or group will be refused service, firstly because that company is denying themselves a source of revenue. Yet there are instances of discrimination that will arise from time to time, and these are moments when consumers have a right to apply the anti-discrimination laws that are in place.


Here are examples of when it is illegal to refuse service to a customer.

Refusal Based on Race


Whatever race a consumer may be, a business has no legal position denying service due to this agenda. Racial profiling and discrimination continues to be an ongoing issue that is protected and enforced by the Australian Federal Government under all conditions.

Refusal Based on Disability


From the physically to the mentally impaired, businesses are not able to discriminate against individuals who are disabled. Consider citizens who require guide dogs or wheelchairs to those who are deaf – consumers in this category are protected in the eyes of the law.

Refusal Based on Sexual Orientation


Whether it is having a wedding catered for or reserving a room at a motel or hotel, it is illegal for a business to deny service for a same-sex couple or individual. There is no middle ground in these instances because it is a direct violation of the anti-discriminatory laws.

Refusal Based on Age


Outside of 18 and over pubs and clubs that service alcohol or require an adult to be present, age discrimination is a factor. The same can be said for senior citizens who can be denied service at locations where most consumers are in the 18-35 age bracket.

When It Refusal OK?


There are instances when a business is within their legal right to refuse a patron of customer service in particular circumstances.


Should safety be an issue where the wellbeing of employees or other customers happens to be under threat, they can be denied. The same applies for aggressive or disruptive behaviour, if a patron entering a pub or club is under the age of 18 or there is a refusal to accept a dress code situated at a premises.


There are other instances when refusal is acceptable from an insurance point of view. Should evidence outline that a potential customer cause problems to the provider, then there are occasions when they are legally safeguarded and protected from refusing service.