The LETSystem Design Manual

The LETSystem Design Manual

4.4 The LETSystem - Further Legal Issues


Liability is, at present, entirely a matter for the two individuals who are making the trade. The LETSystem information services only acts as a kind of "Yellow Pages" and does not get involved. The Registry administration does not involved either. Many LETSystem exchanges are of a social rather than a business nature, so business legislation may not apply (e.g. Sale of Goods, Trading Standards etc ).

In the case of work-exchange organisations like WWOOF, farms are business premises and so need the insurance. But what if I'm just helping my neighbour with the decorating and the ladder breaks? Many household insurance policies offer personal (non-business) liability insurance, which would be appropriate for most LETSystem trades.

For the more commercial type of transactions, most traders and businesses will have public liability anyway. Again, is the key point whether you are supplying something in connection with your normal trade or profession (a business transaction, public liability, taxable etc) or whether you are doing social favours or hobbies (social transaction, personal liability, not taxable)?

Developing the point, a LETSystem exchange can be considered as a contract between two individuals. Contract law will apply. Should you want to apply it, of course.

4.5 Data Protection Act

Registries are subject to the Data Protection Act.

Registries will find their operations to be much easier if they register under the Data Protection Act. There is a possible exemption for small Registries under Exemption 5 (Unincorporate Members’ Clubs). But the requirements will be quite strict and there is always the risk of non- compliance.

Registration under the Act costs £75 for 3 years (just less than 15p per week). The following clauses should then be included in the Registry Agreement:

“I agree to the personal details on this form being held on computer, and used for maintaining a record of my trading in the system.

NB. Computer repair/maintenance will be carried out by reputable service personnel who will be advised of the confidential nature of these records.”

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Landsman Community Services Ltd Paper No. 4.4/4.5 Version No 1.3 17 August 94
Written by Michael Linton of Landsman Community Services Ltd. and Angus Soutar of Robert Soutar Ltd.
Compiled 10-01-95 by Andy Blunt and Adrian Steele of LETSgo Manchester