The law and you
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) implementing the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.
Put simply, as soon as money or gifts change hands it becomes a contract between you and the person who has paid the money or goods. Even if you receive a donation you then come under the new Consumer Protection Regulations.
You are classed as a trader like any other trader or business.
As well as 31 banned outright practices, you have a duty to provide a fair commercial practise that is professionally diligent and is not or is likely to not to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer.
This law repealed the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 which means the CPR law covers all spiritual workers, or spiritualistic service providers. This means that you have to deliver exactly what you say. The following is an extract from one Trading Standards Offices' interpretation of the legislation:
"By using the words heal or healer you are suggesting that you can cure, this is not an acceptable term within the new legislation unless you can give proof of such claims. Anecdotal evidence on your abilities is now not enough, you will need to be able to justify any claim you are making."
Disclaimers can protect you to a point in the event of legal action being taken against you. However, will not allow you to ignore your statutory duties. The SWA recommends the use of a disclaimer and a free template is available in the Guild Members' log in area of our website. Many believe that we should say that we are working for entertainment purposes or that what we do is a scientific experiment. There is nowhere in the CPR's that states this.
If the law has you concerned and you would like to learn more, specifically about how the law effects spiritual workers, why not look at our BTEC course?
Meanwhile for more generalised business information take a look at the latest Office of Fair Trading Documents:
Guidance on the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and CPRs a Basic Guide for Businesses: