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.
If you think you have been discriminated against by an organisation that provides a service or public function, there are a number of things you can do. What is best for you will depend on exactly what has happened, but generally it is best to try to sort it out informally if you can.
Depending on the kind of problem, you should try to resolve the problem first informally by raising it with the service provider or the customer services or complaints department if there is one.
You could do this by phoning or talking to a member of staff or their manager, and it is a good idea to make a note of what is said. If you are worried about this then you can get advice and you may find it helpful to have an advocate.
If raising the issue informally doesn't resolve the problem, you can use the formal complaints procedure for that organisation.
See our legal pages on complaining about health and social care. for more information about formal complaints procedures.
If this does not work then you may want to get advice about making a legal claim for disability discrimination.
If you want to make a legal claim, you would usually do this in the county court.
If you win your case, the court can order the other party to:
If you lose your case:
There are time limits for making a claim:
There are court fees for bringing discrimination claims in the county court:
You might want to see if you can get some support:
These are changes that:
should make for you if you are at a major disadvantage because of your mental health problems and it is reasonable.
Examples of reasonable adjustments include:
This is a court which deals with civil (non–criminal) matters. There are fees for starting a claim in the county court. However, if you have a low income, you may be able to pay a reduced amount, or none at all (called a ‘fee remission’).
Cases in the county court are in one of three tracks:
Fast track and multi-track cases are costly and if you do not win your case, you usually have to pay the other person’s legal costs.See our full list of legal terms.
An advocate is a person who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. Having an advocate can be helpful in situations where you are finding it difficult to make your views known, or to make people listen to them and take them into account.
See our pages on advocacy for more information.See our full list of legal terms.
This information was published in February 2018. We will revise it in 2021.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.