Discrimination in everyday life

Explains the law that protects you from discrimination by organisations or people that provide goods, facilities or services. Explains what you can do if you have been discriminated against and where you can get support and advice. Applies to England and Wales.

What can I do if a public authority has discriminated against me?

If you think that a public authority has discriminated against you when providing you services or public functions, you may be able to challenge this if they have not followed:

If they haven't followed the public sector equality duty

Most public authorities have a special duty to consider eliminating discrimination, advance equality and foster good relations, called the public sector equality duty (see our legal page on the public sector equality duty for more on this).

If they have not followed the public sector equality duty, you might be able to complain. See our legal page on challenging disability discrimination for guidance on how to do this.


A local authority plans to cut its mental health care support services. This decision has to follow the public sector equality duty. This means that the authority should:

  • consult the people who use the service and their families
  • consider the impact this decision will have on the service users and their families.

If it fails to do this then it may not have followed its public sector equality duty and people may make complaints, or take them to court.

If they haven't followed their duties under the Human Rights Act

Public authorities also have to respect your human rights. This includes not discriminating against you, which is included in the Human Rights Act.

If you think that a public authority has not respected your human rights there are several things you can do. For more information, see our legal page on complaining under the Human Rights Act.


This information was published in February 2018. We will revise it in 2020.

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