The Equality Act 2010 means that you should not generally be treated less well – at school or college, at work, in shops, pubs or clubs, in the services you receive – simply because of your:
- race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins
- sexual orientation
- religion or belief
- gender reassignment
- marriage or civil partnership
- pregnancy or maternity leave
Until you are 18, you can be treated differently because of your age.
Disability discrimination law also requires employers and service-providers to make “reasonable adjustments” to make work or services accessible for disabled people. Find out more about disability discrimination here.
If you are treated less well for one of the listed reasons, or think that a business has not made reasonable adjustments, you should complain – in person, or in writing – to the relevant person or organisation. Explain why you think they have broken the law. They may apologise, which will help you, and they may take steps to change some of their practices, which will help others as well.
If they don’t do this, think whether you want to take it any further. First, make sure of your facts and check the law – see the resources below for help with this. Taking legal action might be possible, but discrimination law is very complicated and all legal action is very time consuming – and you might not get what you want at the end of it. If it is something serious, consider
- writing to your local MP, your council, your school or college and see if they can get anywhere
- using the national Equality Advisory Service helpline
- starting your own campaign.
You might also be interested in our other pages on your legal rights: