The Law

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Your Guide to The Law

Disability Peterborough are here for any queries you may have, call us on 01733 265551 or email

The Equality Act

  • Introduction

    The Equality Act was introduced in October 2010 to provide a single legal framework to better tackle disadvantage and discrimination.

    The Equality Act 2010 legally protects persons with disabilities from discrimination.

    Equality law recognises that bringing about equality for disabled people may mean changing the way in which services are delivered, providing extra equipment and/or the removal of physical barriers.

    Reasonable Adjustments

    This is the ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’. A duty is something someone must do, in this case because the law says they must. The aim is to ensure that disabled persons can use an organisation’s services, as close as it is reasonably possible, to get to the standard usually offered to non-disabled people.

    If an organisation providing goods, facilities or services to the public or a section of the public, or carrying out public functions, or running an association finds there are barriers to disabled people in the way it does things, then it must consider making adjustments (in other words, changes). If those adjustments are reasonable for that organisation to make, then it must make them.

    Anticipatory Duty

    The duty is ‘anticipatory’. This means an organisation cannot wait until a disabled person wants to use its services, but must think in advance (and on an ongoing basis) about what disabled people with a range of impairments might reasonably need, such as people who have a visual impairment, a hearing impairment, a mobility impairment, or a learning disability.

    An organisation is not required to do more than it is reasonable for it to do. What is reasonable for an organisation to do depends, among other factors, on its size and nature, and the nature of the goods, facilities or services it provides, or the public functions it carries out, or the association it runs.

    Making a Claim

    If you are a disabled person and can show that there were barriers an organisation should have identified and reasonable adjustments it could have made, you can bring a claim against it in court. If you win your case, the organisation may be told to pay compensation and make the reasonable adjustments.

    Read the Act Here

  • Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)

    The EASS Helpline can advise and assist you if you feel you have been discriminated under the Equality Act. It can also advise you about reasonable adjustments. Telephone 0808 800 0082,or Textphone 0808 800 0084

    There is also a webcam portal for BSL users.

  • What is Classed as a Disability?

    You are considered to be disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

    What ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ mean

    • Substantial’ is more than minor or trivial, e.g. it takes much longer than it usually would to complete a daily task like getting dressed
    • Long-term’ means 12 months or more, e.g. a breathing condition that develops as a result of a lung infection

    Progressive conditions

    A progressive condition is one that gets worse over time. People with progressive conditions can be classed as disabled.

    However, you automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day you are diagnosed with HIV infection, cancer, or multiple sclerosis.

  • What is NOT Classed as a Disability?
    • Addiction to alcohol / nicotine / non-prescription drugs
    • Hayfever
    • Tendency to set fires / steal / commit physical or sexual abuse of others
    • Exhibitionism
    • Voyeurism
    • Tattoos and body piercing

Contact Information

Equality Advisory Support Service:

0808 800 0082

Care Act 2014

  • Introduction

    The Care Act 2014, which came into effect in 2015, represents the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years. It puts people and their carers in control of their care and support. Importantly, the Care Act also changes many aspects of how support is arranged, aiming to give greater control and influence to those in need of support.

  • Principles of The Act

    The six principles of the Care Act are:

    • Empowerment
    • Protection
    • Prevention
    • Proportionality
    • Partnership
    • Accountability

    The Care Act sets out some ‘key principles‘ on how health and social care professionals should work with you. Those principles are:

    • You know best
    • Your views, wishes, feelings and beliefs should always be considered
    • The main aim of professionals should be on your well-being, on reducing your need for care and support, and on reducing the likelihood that you will need care and support in the future
    • Any decisions made should take into account all relevant circumstances
    • Any decisions should be made with your involvement
    • Your well-being should be balanced with that of any involved family and friends
    • Professionals should always work to protect you and other people from abuse and neglect
    • Professionals should ensure that any actions taken to support or protect you affect your rights and freedom as little as possible
  • What Does The Act Do

    The Act sets out when the local authority has a responsibility to meet someone’s care and support needs. It also sets out how it can do so even if it does not have to. The Act also says what must happen next to help the person make decisions about how their needs should be met.

    • The Act gives local authorities a new legal responsibility to provide a care and support plan (or a support plan in the case of a carer)
    • For the first time, the Act provides people with a legal entitlement to a personal budget, which is an important part of the care and support plan, or support plan. The personal budget must be included in every plan, unless the person is only receiving intermediate care or reablement support to meet their identified needs
    • This adds to a person’s right to ask for a direct payment to meet some or all of their needs. Provided that the direct payment is used to meet the needs identified in the plan, the person should have freedom over how the money is spent
    • Even when an assessment says that someone does not have needs that the local authority should meet, the local authority must advise people about what needs they do have, and how to meet them or prevent further needs from developing
    • The person concerned must be involved in developing their plan. The local authority will have to do everything it reasonably can to agree the plan with them
    • It must also provide an independent advocate to help the person take part in the planning and review process if that person would otherwise have substantial difficulty in doing so
    • Completing the planning process and putting in place care and support arrangements does not mean the end of the local authority’s responsibilities. The local authority has a legal responsibility to review the plan to make sure that the adult’s needs and outcomes continue to be met over time. If anything has changed, the authority must carry out a new assessment. The person themselves also has the right to request a review of their care and support plan if they wish.
  • How The Act Helps Prevent People Developing Care And Support Needs

    The Care Act helps to improve people’s independence and wellbeing. It makes it clear that local authorities must provide or arrange services that help prevent people developing needs for care and support, or delay people deteriorating to the point they need ongoing care and support.

    Local authorities have to consider various factors:

    • What services, facilities and resources are already available in the area (for example, local voluntary and community groups), and how these might help local people
    • Identifying people in the local area who might have care and support needs that are not being met
    • Identifying carers in the area who might have support needs that are not being met

    In taking on this role, local authorities need to work with their communities and provide or arrange services that help to keep people well and independent. This should include identifying the local support and resources already available and helping people to access them.

    Local authorities should also provide or arrange a range of services which are aimed at reducing needs and helping people regain skills, for instance after a spell in hospital. They should work with other partners, like the NHS, to think about what types of service local people may need now and in the future.

  • How The Act Improves Information And Advice

    Local authorities need to provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. This is to help people to understand how care and support services work locally, the care and funding options available, and how people can access care and support services.

    The Act clearly sets out that they must provide information on:

    • What types of care and support are available, e.g. specialised dementia care, befriending services, reablement, personal assistance, residential care etc
    • The range of care and support services available to local people, i.e. what local providers offer certain types of services
    • What process local people need to use to get care and support that is available
    • Where local people can find independent financial advice about care and support and help them to access it
    • How people can raise concerns about the safety or wellbeing of someone who has care and support needs

    Local authorities must also help people to benefit from independent financial advice, so that they can get support to plan and prepare for the future costs of care. All information and advice must be provided in formats that help people to understand, regardless of their needs. This may include a range of different types of information and include working with partners to provide information on different services together.

  • How The Act Improves Range And Quality of Services

    The Care Act requires local authorities to help develop a market that delivers a wide range of sustainable, high-quality care and support services, that will be available to their communities.

    When buying and arranging services, local authorities must consider how they might affect an individual’s wellbeing. This makes it clear that local authorities should think about whether their approaches to buying and arranging services support and promote the wellbeing of people receiving those services.

    Local Providers

    Local authorities should also engage with local providers, to help each other understand what services are likely to be needed in the future, and what new types of support should be developed. To do this, authorities should engage with local people about their needs and aspirations. A wider range of high-quality services aims to give people more control and help them to make more effective and personalised choices over their care. They should therefore get better care that works for them.

  • When The Local Authority Must Meet a Person's Care And Support Needs

    The Act sets out a new legal duty for an adult’s ‘eligible needs’ to be met by the local authority, subject to their financial circumstances. Their eligible needs are those that are determined after the assessment.

    The Act says clearly that a person will be entitled to have their needs met when:

    • The adult has ‘eligible’ needs
    • The adult is ‘ordinarily resident’ in the local area (which means their established home is there)
    • Any of 5 situations apply to them

    These are the 5 situations:

    • The type of care and support they need is provided free of charge
    • The person cannot afford to pay the full cost of their care and support
    • The person asks the local authority to meet their needs
    • The person does not have mental capacity, and has no one else to arrange care for them
    • When the cap on care costs comes into force, their total care and support costs have exceeded the cap

    What happens if the local authority must meet their needs?

    The local authority must help the person to make decisions about how they want their needs to be met and prepare a care and support plan. Assessments are free of charge.

    Under the Act, there is more flexibility to focus on what the person needs and what they want to achieve, and to design a package of care and support that suits them. ‘Meeting needs’ allows for different approaches, so that they can get the right level and type of care and support when they need it. A person will still be able to receive the same types of care and support as before. If their needs can be best met in a care home, that is what should be arranged.

  • Paying For Care

    Some types of care and support are provided free of charge but often the local authority will charge a cost. Depending on a person’s finances, a local authority may ask an individual to contribute towards the costs of their care (up to and including the full amount).

    In cases where the costs of care would reduce a person’s income below a set level, a local authority will pay some of the costs to make sure that the person is left with this minimum level of income. This ensures people will still receive the care they need in cases where they have only modest resources.

    In any other cases, the adult can still ask the local authority, regardless of their finances, to arrange their care and support for them. It makes it less likely that people who are uncertain about the system, or lack confidence to arrange their care, do not go without. However, they will still need to pay for their care and support if they have adequate financial resources.

    If people are due to pay charges for their care and support, they may be entitled to a ‘deferred payment agreement’, through which they delay charges and repay the local authority at a later date.

  • Assessment Process

    An assessment is how a local authority decides whether a person needs care and support to help them live their day-to-day life.

    The assessment must be carried out by an appropriately trained assessor, for instance a social worker, who will consider a number of factors, such as:

    • The person’s needs and how they impact on their wellbeing, for instance, a need for help with getting dressed or support to get to work
    • The outcomes that matter to the person, for example, whether they are lonely and want to make new friends
    • The person’s other circumstances, for example, whether they live alone or whether someone supports them

    The aim is to get a full picture of the person and what needs and goals they may have. After carrying out the assessment, the local authority will then consider whether any of the needs identified are eligible for support.

    Because not all care needs are met by the State, the local authority uses an eligibility framework to decide which needs are eligible to be met by public care and support.

    Click here to read the full Care Act

    If you think that the principles of the Care Act have not been adhered to in your circumstance, you can talk this over with one of our fully trained advisors by Telephone 01733 265551, or Email

Contact Information

Disability Peterborough:

01733 265551

International Human Rights

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) says that all human beings are free and equal, regardless of colour, creed, religion or disability. For the first time, a global agreement put human beings, not power politics, at the heart of its agenda. The 30 rights and freedoms set out in the UDHR include the right to asylum, the right to freedom from torture, the right to free speech and the right to education. It includes civil and political rights, like the right to life, liberty, free speech, and privacy. It also includes economic, social and cultural rights, like the right to social security, health and education.

    You can read the UDHR here

  • 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Article 1: We are all born free. We all have our own thoughts and ideas and we should all be treated the same way.

    Article 2: The rights in the UDHR belong to everyone, no matter who we are, where we’re from, or whatever we believe.

    Article 3: We all have the right to life, and to live in freedom and safety.

    Article 4: No one should be held as a slave, and no one has the right to treat anyone else as their slave.

    Article 5: No one has the right to inflict torture, or to subject anyone else to cruel or inhuman treatment.

    Article 6: We should all have the same level of legal protection whoever we are, and wherever in the world we are.

    Article 7: The law is the same for everyone, and must treat us all equally.

    Article 8: We should all have the right to legal support if we are treated unfairly.

    Article 9: Nobody should be arrested, put in prison, or sent away from our country unless there is good reason to do so.

    Article 10: Everyone accused of a crime has the right to a fair and public trial, and those that try us should be independent and not influenced by others.

    Article 11: Everyone accused of a crime has the right to be considered innocent until they have fairly been proven to be guilty.

    Article 12: Nobody has the right to enter our home, open our mail, or intrude on our families without good reason. We also have the right to be protected if someone tries to unfairly damage our reputation.

    Article 13: We all have the right to move freely within our country, and to visit and leave other countries when we wish.

    Article 14: If we are at risk of harm we have the right to go to another country to seek protection.

    Article 15: We all have the right to be a citizen of a country and nobody should prevent us, without good reason, from being a citizen of another country if we wish.

    Article 16: We should have the right to marry and have a family as soon as we’re legally old enough. Our ethnicity, nationality and religion should not stop us from being able to do this. Men and women have the same rights when they are married and also when they’re separated. We should never be forced to marry. The government has a responsibility to protect us and our family.

    Article 17: Everyone has the right to own property, and no one has the right to take this away from us without a fair reason.

    Article 18: Everyone has the freedom to think or believe what they want, including the right to religious belief. We have the right to change our beliefs or religion at any time, and the right to publicly or privately practise our chosen religion, alone or with others.

    Article 19: Everyone has the right to their own opinions, and to be able to express them freely. We should have the right to share our ideas with who we want, and in whichever way we choose.

    Article 20: We should all have the right to form groups and organise peaceful meetings. Nobody should be forced to belong to a group if they don’t want to.

    Article 21: We all have the right to take part in our country’s political affairs either by freely choosing politicians to represent us, or by belonging to the government ourselves. Governments should be voted for by the public on a regular basis, and every person’s individual vote should be secret. Every individual vote should be worth the same.

    Article 22: The society we live in should help every person develop to their best ability through access to work, involvement in cultural activity, and the right to social welfare. Every person in society should have the freedom to develop their personality with the support of the resources available in that country.

    Article 23: We all have the right to employment, to be free to choose our work, and to be paid a fair salary that allows us to live and support our family. Everyone who does the same work should have the right to equal pay, without discrimination. We have the right to come together and form trade union groups to defend our interests as workers.

    Article 24: Everyone has the right to rest and leisure time. There should be limits on working hours, and people should be able to take holidays with pay.

    Article 25: We all have the right to enough food, clothing, housing and healthcare for ourselves and our families. We should have access to support if we are out of work, ill, elderly, disabled, widowed, or can’t earn a living for reasons outside of our control. An expectant mother and her baby should both receive extra care and support. All children should have the same rights when they are born.

    Article 26: Everyone has the right to education. Primary schooling should be free. We should all be able to continue our studies as far as we wish. At school we should be helped to develop our talents, and be taught an understanding and respect for everyone’s human rights. We should also be taught to get on with others whatever their ethnicity, religion, or country they come from. Our parents have the right to choose what kind of school we go to.

    Article 27: We all have the right to get involved in our community’s arts, music, literature and sciences, and the benefits they bring. If we are an artist, a musician, a writer or a scientist, our works should be protected and we should be able to benefit from them.

    Article 28: We all have the right to live in a peaceful and orderly society so that these rights and freedoms can be protected, and these rights can be enjoyed in all other countries around the world.

    Article 29: We have duties to the community we live in that should allow us to develop as fully as possible. The law should guarantee human rights and should allow everyone to enjoy the same mutual respect.

    Article 30: No government, group or individual should act in a way that would destroy the rights and freedoms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • United Nations - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty adopted in 2006. The UK agreed to follow it in 2009. By following CRPD, the UK agrees to protect and promote the human rights of disabled people, including:

    • Eliminating disability discrimination
    • Enabling disabled people to live independently in the community
    • Ensuring an inclusive education system
    • Ensuring disabled people are protected from all forms of exploitation, violence, and abuse
  • How the UK is Doing?

    The UN last examined how well the UK is implementing the treaty and published its recommendations in August 2017. These included:

    • Recognising and enforcing the right of disabled people to live independently, be included in the community, and choose where they live and who they live with
    • Ensuring that social security policies protect the income of disabled people and their families, allowing for the extra costs that come with disability
    • Removing barriers to ensure that disabled people can access decent work and equal pay
    • Taking action to combat any negative or discriminatory stereotypes or prejudice against disabled people in public and the media
    • Ensuring disabled people have equal rights to justice by providing appropriate legal advice and support
    • Involving disabled people and disabled people’s organisations in planning and implementing all laws and policies affecting disabled people
    • Incorporating CRPD into domestic law to ensure that people can take legal action if their rights have been breached
  • What This Means For You

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission have put together a guide that explains what the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is and what it means for you, the obligations of governments who have signed up to it, and the role of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its implementation. You can view it here

    It explains:

    • What the Convention is
    • Its key principles
    • How it can be used by disabled people and their organisations to bring about change at a local and national level
    • Where you can find useful resources about and further information on the Convention

More Information

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