A general guide on how you are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act and what your rights are.
The Equality Act protects you from discrimination when you:
You don't have to have a particular mental health condition to get protection under the Equality Act. What you need to show is that your mental health problem is a disability.
Mental health problems that could be covered under the Equality Act would include:
'Protected characteristics' is the name for the nine personal characteristics that are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act.
See our pages on disability discrimination for more information.See our full list of legal terms.
These are organisations whose role is of a public nature. This includes:
This is the legal duty which public authorities like councils, NHS hospitals and government departments have to follow. It means they have to consider how their policies and practices affect people with protected characteristics, like people with mental health problems.
Private or voluntary organisations also have to follow the public sector equality duty when they carry out a public function on behalf of public authorities. For example, a private firm that is employed by a local council to collect council tax arrears needs to follow the public sector equality duty.See our full list of legal terms.
This information was published in August 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.