Before you act about discrimination

You can file a complaint against the person or organization that discriminated against you if you have experienced unlawful discrimination. A civil court can also hear your case for discrimination.

This page will help you understand what to do before you act against unlawful discrimination. This page does not cover discrimination at work.

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Verify that there has been no discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 is the law that says you can’t be discriminated. It is illegal to discriminate against someone who is not in compliance with the Equality Act. You should verify whether discrimination has been committed under the Equality Act if you feel you have been discriminated against. To determine if unlawful discrimination occurred, you can follow these steps.

Why are you being treated unfairly?

Unfair treatment of someone is only illegal discrimination. These people have what are known as protected characteristics.

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Who is unfairly treating you?

  • If it is done by certain individuals, unfair treatment will only count as unlawful discrimination
  • Service providers such as a bank, an energy provider, or a shop are all service providers.
  • Healthcare and care providers
  • Education providers such as a school, college, or university
  • Transport providers such as buses, trains, and taxis
  • Local authorities and government departments

A person who lets or sells a property, such as a private landlord or housing association.

Employers may have treated you unfairly. However, you will need to take different steps to make a complaint.

The Equality Act only allows for unlawful discrimination to be committed when certain behaviours or unfair treatment are involved. It depends on who is discriminating against you. A healthcare provider, for example, must not discriminate against you by refusing to give you medical treatment or making you feel worse than anyone else. You can’t have an estate agent discriminate against your by ending your lease or refusing to show a house for you.

What is the unfair treatment?

It is important to determine what type of discrimination you are experiencing.

Which action is best for you?

You must consider what you want to accomplish when deciding on the best course of action regarding discrimination. You might want financial compensation, an apology, or a way to make things right. Also, think about how fast you can get the result.

It is often better to solve your problem privately first. This will prevent the problem from getting worse and save you the stress and expense of going to court. However, you should be aware of the strict deadlines for taking legal action. Therefore, it is best to act as soon as possible.

If you have been discriminated against, the following steps can be taken:

  • Make a complaint
  • Try mediation or arbitration
  • You can take legal action.
  • Resolve a dispute

This could be the fastest and most efficient way to receive an apology or an informal solution. However, it is not legal and you may not receive any compensation.

Mediation or arbitration are options.

Arbitration is a process where both parties are assisted by an impartial person to reach an agreement. Although mediation is not binding, you can still go to court if you are unhappy with the outcome. Arbitration is usually legally binding. You can’t appeal to court if you are unhappy with the decision of the arbitrator.

You need to get the other side to agree to mediation or arbitration if you want to solve your problem through mediation. Although it will be more time-consuming than filing a complaint, this may still work if you wish to keep in touch with the individual or organization that discriminated against your. You may also be eligible for compensation.

You can take court action

If you have not received a response from the discriminating person or organization, or the problem has not been resolved through other means, you can take court action to resolve the issue. You may also be eligible for compensation.

  • It can also be stressful and take a lot of time. It can also be costly.
  • Before you take action, here are some things to consider

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You will need to gather the facts about your case if you believe you have been discriminated against. This will allow you to determine if unlawful discrimination occurred and support you in taking action.

Keep all documents safe

It’s a smart idea to save any documents, emails or letters that relate to unfair treatment. Keep a list of all relevant documents, including any lost. These documents may be required as evidence if you are going to court.

Examine whether there are any codes of conduct or equality policies

You may find equality policies or codes in place at the organisation that discriminates against you. These documents may offer you greater protection than the Equality Act. These documents can be used if you wish to file a complaint regarding discrimination.

Information to support your claim

For information on your treatment, you can contact the organization that discriminated against or against you. This will help you to understand the circumstances and determine if there was any unlawful discrimination. This can help you decide what actions you want to take.

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  • Additional useful information
  • Mediation
  • Further information about mediation can be found on the Advice Services Alliance website.

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