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Disability discrimination

A general guide on how you are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act and what your rights are.


Sometimes people who have mental health problems are treated unfavourably because of their mental health condition. This is called discrimination and, if you experience it, you may have a legal right to challenge it.

Quick facts

  • The Equality Act 2010 is the law that gives you the right to challenge discrimination.
  • To get protection under the Equality Act, you usually have to show that your mental health problem is a disability. 'Disability' has a special meaning under the Act.
  • The Equality Act protects you from discrimination when you:
  • Public authorities have an additional duty to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity, called the public sector equality duty.
  • There are short timescales for taking a legal claim if you believe that someone has discriminated against you. If you can, try to get legal advice before starting a claim.

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.

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