Guidance on AER approval of customer hardship policies (revoked)

Date initiated: 
6 December 2010
Date completed: 
16 May 2011
Effective date: 
1 July 2012
AER reference: 


This Guidance has now been revoked. For the most recent information on hardship policy requirements, refer to the Customer Hardship Policy Guideline, effective 2 April 2019.


The AER has prepared Guidance on AER Approval of Customer Hardship Policies to provide guidance to retailers on the kind of information to include in their customer hardship policies, or to submit as supplementary information to the AER, when seeking approval of their customer hardship policy (or any variation(s) to their policy).

The information set out in this document will assist retailers to demonstrate that their policy satisfies all the minimum requirements and obligations specified in the Retail Law and Rules. It may also assist retailers who do not have a customer hardship policy in place to develop their policy in accordance with the Retail Law and Rules.

The Guidance provides information on the process retailers should follow when submitting customer hardship policies (or variations to policies) to the AER for approval. It outlines the general approach the AER will take to review, assess and approve customer hardship policies, including customer hardship policies already in operation, and where approval has previously been granted by a jurisdictional regulator. It also provides guidance to retailers on the kind of factors and information the AER will consider, having regard to the principles set out in the Retail Law, when reviewing customer hardship policies for approval.