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Your guide to Discrimination

Disability Peterborough are here for any queries you may have, call us on 01733 265551 or email info@disabilitypeterborough.org


As a disabled person, you have rights to protect you from discrimination.
  • Protection Against Discrimination

    You are protected from discrimination:

    • At work
    • In education
    • As a consumer
    • When using public services
    • When buying or renting property
    • As a member or guest of a private club or association

    You are also protected from discrimination if:

    • You are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, for example a family member or friend
    • You have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim
  • How You Can be Discriminated Against

    Discrimination can come in one of the following forms:

    • Direct discrimination– treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others
    • Indirect discrimination– putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone but that put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage
    • Harassment– unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them
    • Victimisation– treating someone unfairly because they have complained about discrimination or harassment

    It can be lawful to have specific rules or arrangements in place, as long as they can be justified.

  • Anticipatory Duty

    The duty to make reasonable adjustments is anticipatory in services. This means service providers should have considered common disability access needs and implemented solutions before any disabled person needs or asks for them.

    Some examples of common reasonable adjustments that could and should be anticipated:

    • Ramp to get up a step or alternative means of access
    • Providing a hearing loop system
    • Having large print information available on request
    • Providing staff assistance to a blind customer in a shop
    • Changes to ‘the usual rules’ for a disabled person
    • Policies and practices telling disabled people how to request the adjustments that they need
  • What You Can do

    If you think you have been unfairly discriminated against you can:

    • Complain directly to the person or organisation
    • Use someone else to help you sort it out (called ‘mediation’ or ‘alternative dispute resolution’)
    • Make a claim in a court or tribunal

    Contact the Equality Advisory Support Service for help and advice

Contact Information

Equality Advisory Support:



  • Employment Overview

    It is against the law for employers to discriminate against you because of a disability. The Equality Act 2010 protects you and covers areas including:

    • Application forms
    • Interview arrangements
    • Aptitude or proficiency tests
    • Job offers
    • Terms of employment, including pay
    • Promotion, transfer, and training opportunities
    • Dismissal or redundancy
    • Discipline and grievances
  • Reasonable Adjustments in the Workplace

    An employer must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to avoid you being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in the workplace. For example, adjusting your working hours or providing you with a special piece of equipment to help you do the job.

  • Recruitment

    An employer who is recruiting staff may make limited enquiries about your health or disability.

    You can only be asked about your health or disability:

    • To help decide if you can carry out a task that is an essential part of the work
    • To help find out if you can take part in an interview
    • To help decide if the interviewers need to make reasonable adjustments for you in a selection process
    • To help monitoring
    • If they want to increase the number of disabled people they employ
    • If they need to know for the purposes of national security checks

    You may be asked whether you have a health condition or disability on an application form or in an interview. You need to think about whether the question is one that is allowed to be asked at that stage of recruitment.

  • Redundancy and Retirement

    You cannot be chosen for redundancy just because of a disability. The selection process for redundancy must be fair and balanced for all employees. Your employer cannot force you to retire if you become disabled.

  • Actions if You Have Suffered Discrimination in The Workplace

    Employees should talk to their employer first to try and sort out the problem informally. If things cannot be sorted out informally, talk to us here at Disability Peterborough, Acas, or a trade union representative.

    You might be able to take a claim to an employment tribunal for discrimination.

    Check if you can get legal aid to help with your legal costs if you think you have been discriminated against. You can get advice from Civil Legal Advice if you are eligible. Employers must follow the law on preventing discrimination at work.


  • Disabled Students

    It is against the law for schools or other education providers to treat disabled students unfavourably. This includes:

    • Direct discrimination, for example, refusing admission to a student or excluding them because of disability
    • Indirect discrimination, for example, only providing application forms in one format that may not be accessible
    • Discrimination arising from a disability, for example, a disabled pupil is prevented from going outside at break time because it takes too long to get there
    • Harassment, for example, a teacher shouts at a disabled student for not paying attention when the student’s disability stops them from easily concentrating
    • Victimisation, for example, suspending a disabled student because they have complained about harassment
  • Reasonable Adjustments

    An education provider has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure disabled students are not discriminated against. These changes could include providing extra support and aids (such as specialist teachers or equipment).

    Schools are not subject to the reasonable adjustment duty to make alterations to physical features, like adding ramps. They must make the buildings accessible for their disabled pupils as part of their overall planning duties.

  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

    All publicly funded pre-schools, nurseries, state schools and local authorities must try to identify and help assess children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

    If a child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan or a statement of special educational needs, these must be reviewed annually. From year 9 the child will get a full review to understand what support they will need to prepare them for adulthood.

  • Higher Education

    All universities and higher education colleges should have a person in charge of disability issues who you can talk to about the support they offer. You can also ask local social services for an assessment to help with your day-to-day living needs.

Police and Hate Crimes

  • Police

    If you are being questioned or interviewed at a police station you have certain rights depending on your impairment.

    Deaf, Hearing-impaired or Speech Difficulties

    The police should arrange for an interpreter to be present with you. The police can interview you without an interpreter if a delay would result in harm to people, property or evidence.

    Learning Disabilities

    The police should only interview someone who has a learning disability when a responsible person (referred to as an ‘appropriate adult’) is present. The appropriate adult should not work for the police and should have experience of people with learning disabilities. The police can interview you without an appropriate adult if a delay would result in harm to people, property or evidence.

    Right to Medical Treatment

    If you are being kept in a police cell, you have the right to a medical examination by a healthcare worker. A healthcare worker may be a paramedic, nurse, or a police surgeon (sometimes referred to as a ‘Forensic Medical Examiner’).

    If you do not want to be examined by the healthcare worker provided, you could be examined by a general practitioner (GP) that you choose (if they are available). You may have to pay for this.

  • Hate Crime

    Crimes committed against someone because of their disability should be reported to the police.

    Hate crimes can include:

    • Threatening behaviour
    • Assault
    • Robbery
    • Damage to property
    • Inciting others to commit hate crimes
    • Harassment
    • Online abuse

    You can report hate crime online. Disability Peterborough can help you with this, Telephone us on 01733 265551 for help and advice, or Email info@disabilitypeterborugh.org

    Telephone 999 if you are reporting a crime that is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.

    If the crime is not an emergency, you can Telephone 101, or contact your local police.

Contact Information

Cambridgeshire Constabulary:


Public Sector Websites

  • Web Accessibility

    You have a right to use (or ‘access’) online public sector information and services. This means that public sector websites and mobile apps should be easy to use, including if you are using:

    • Assistive technology like a screen reader or speech recognition software
    • Browser customisations like increasing magnification or changing colours

    Organisations that are legally required to improve their website and app accessibility include:

    • Local councils
    • Central government bodies
    • NHS and most higher education institutions

    Some non-government organisations, such as nurseries, are exempt.

  • Accessibility Issues You May Have

    The website or app might have accessibility problems if you cannot:

    • Navigate pages with your mouse or keyboard
    • Click on small links or buttons
    • Read PDF documents with assistive technology
    • Read text if you cannot change the size or colour
    • Understand the text if it is not in plain English
    • Understand audio or video if there is no transcript or captions
    • Understand images if there is no alternative or descriptive text
  • How to Report an Issue

    Public sector organisations should publish an accessibility statement on their website or application. The statement should tell you how:

    • Accessible the website or app is
    • The organisation plans to solve any issues
    • To request an alternative format like large print or audio recording
    • To report a problem so it can be fixed

    If you report a problem to an organisation, they should tell you what action they will take and when. Organisations are allowed some time to fix a problem if it is difficult or costly.

  • Further Help And Advice

    You can contact The Equality Advisory Support Service if you:

    • Cannot find an accessibility statement or report the issue on the organisation’s website
    • Are not satisfied with the organisation’s response

Contact Information

Equality Advisory Support:


More Information

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