Penalties - funeral providers

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As a funeral provider, it is your responsibility to understand your legal obligations under the Funerals Act 2006 (the Act).

You must also understand your responsibilities under other laws that set rules for your business – for example, the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, which applies to all Victorian businesses.

You may be penalised for breaches of the Act. Some offences and their penalties are listed below.

We have a range of options to deal with breaches we identify. For more information, view our Regulatory approach and compliance policy section.

Monetary penalties under the Funerals Act can be imposed by:

The value of a penalty unit is $161.19 for financial year 2018-19. This amount will change at the start of each financial year. For more information, visit the Indexation of fees and penalties page on the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

Section of the Funerals Act

Obligation

Maximum penalty for breaching your obligation

s.10(1)

You must provide our Director with registration information

10 penalty units

s.10(2)

You must notify our Director of any change to registration information within 14 days of the change

10 penalty units

s.11(1,2)

You must respond to a request from our Director for registration information within 28 days

10 penalty units

s.16(1)

You must provide our Director with information from the pre-paid funeral contracts register

60 penalty units

s.18(2)

You must respond to a request from our Director to confirm information from the pre-paid funeral contracts register is correct

10 penalty units

s.19(1)

You must not make false or misleading statements about the funeral providers register or the pre-paid funeral contracts register

60 penalty units in the case of an individual

120 penalty units in any other case

s.20(1)

You must offer the option of a basic funeral service

60 penalty units

s.21(1)

You must produce a clear and legible price list of your funeral goods and services

60 penalty units

s.22

You must give a copy of your funeral goods and services price list to:

  • any person who asks about your funeral goods or services and prices
  • any other person on request

60 penalty units

s.23

You must give a copy of a clear and legible list of the description and total price of each coffin available to purchase to:

  • any person who asks about coffins and prices
  • any other person on request

60 penalty units

s.24(1)

You must give customers an itemised statement of funeral costs before entering into an agreement for the provision of funeral goods or services

60 penalty units

s.24(2)

You must ensure items on the statement of funeral costs (except disbursements) correspond with items on the funeral goods and services price list

60 penalty units

s.24(3)

You must ensure the statement of funeral costs lists disbursements separately

60 penalty units

s.24(4)

You must, if you do not know the cost of disbursements at the time of providing statement of funeral costs:

  • include a reasonable estimate
  • provide a further written statement of the actual disbursements with the final invoice

60 penalty units

s.24(5)

You must ensure the statement of funeral costs includes your complaints handling procedure

60 penalty units

s.27

You must, before entering into a pre-paid funeral contract, give each party to the contract details in writing of:

  • how any money paid under the contract will be invested
  • terms and conditions
  • administration or brokerage fees

360 penalty units

s.28(1)

You must not enter into a contract unless it:

  • is in writing
  • complies with this section of the Act
  • contains any other terms and conditions

600 penalty units

s.28(5)

You must give each party to the contract a copy of the contract

120 penalty units

s.29(1)

You must invest all pre-paid funeral money as instructed in this section of the Act

600 penalty units

s.30(1)

You must invest pre-paid funeral money:

  • in the name of the funeral contract customer
  • in accordance with the contract

600 penalty units

s.30(2)

You must invest pre-paid funeral money:

  • within three business days for cash
  • within seven business days for other payments

600 penalty units

s.30(3)

You must give each party to the contract copies of any documents relating to the payment or investment of pre-paid funeral money within 21 days of receiving the money

120 penalty units

s.30(5)

You must inform the investment body that the investment is for a pre-paid funeral contract

120 penalty units

s.31(1)

You must not demand financial benefit from a person for a funeral service supplied under a pre-paid funeral contract other than the financial benefit provided for in the contract

360 penalty units

s.32(1)

You must not accept money payable under an investment specified in a pre-paid funeral contract unless the funeral service has been supplied in accordance with the contract

360 penalty units

s.32(2)

You must not accept commission or other payment from any person relating to any investment of pre-paid funeral money, other than the financial benefit provided for in the contract

360 penalty units

s.33(1)

You must give a receipt to a person making a payment towards a pre-paid funeral:

  • without delay for cash payments
  • within three business days for other payments
  • within three business days if requested

10 penalty units

s.38(1)

You must, when a contract is terminated under s.37 before the death of the funeral contract holder:

  • transfer to the contract holder or their legal representative any interest the funeral provider has in the financial benefit paid under the contract on behalf of that party
  • transfer to the contract holder any money they have paid that has not been invested

360 penalty units

s.38(2)

You must, when a contract is terminated under s.37 on or after the death of the funeral contract holder:

  • transfer to the contract holder’s legal representative any interest the funeral provider has in the financial benefit paid under the contract
  • transfer to the contract holder’s legal representative any money they have paid that has not been invested

360 penalty units

s.42

You must keep a pre-paid funerals contract register

60 penalty units

s.43

You must keep copies of any documents relating to the contract, investment of money, and receipt, for at least three years after the death of the funeral contract holder

60 penalty units

s.44(1)

You must keep accounting and other records of your pre-paid funeral business

60 penalty units

s.49(1)

You must establish and maintain a procedure for dealing with customer complaints

60 penalty units

s.50

You must set out the complaints handling procedure in writing

60 penalty units

s.51

You must immediately provide a copy of the document setting out the complaints handling procedure to any customer who makes a complaint

60 penalty units

s.53(4)

You must give our Director any information or documents necessary to determine whether you, or any other person, have complied with the Act or have ever been required by law to comply with the Act

120 penalty units in the case of an individual

240 penalty units in any other case

s.69

You must give information, documents and assistance, which is reasonably necessary to determine whether the Act has been breached,
to our inspectors

60 penalty units

s.70

You must not provide false or misleading information or documents

60 penalty units

s.72

You must not hinder or obstruct our inspectors

60 penalty units

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