I feel like I have been discriminated against. What can I do?

If you feel that you have been discriminated against in your job, at school or when using any service, contact us as soon as possible on 0808 808 5678, or you can contact the Equality Commission NI on 02890 890890. It is important that you do not delay in getting advice on this issue because if your discrimination complaint cannot be sorted out you may wish to complain to a tribunal or court. They have very strict time limits for receiving complaints so if you delay in getting advice it may be too late to do anything about your complaint.

How long do I have to be employed before I can be protected by discrimination laws?

Discrimination laws protect you from your very first day at work.

What will the discrimination laws on gender, race, sexual orientation and disability discrimination protect me against?

The law protects you against discrimination and harassment in a lot of different situations. It is not exactly the same for each type of discrimination. The laws on gender, race, sexual orientation and disability discrimination protect you against discrimination and harassment when:

  • You are trying to get a job or an apprenticeship (including a part-time job after school or during school holidays)
  • You are at work in relation to how you are treated including the pay you receive
  • You are on work experience (even though you are not being paid)
  • You are applying for or taking part in a training course that will help you get a job
  • You are looking for or getting careers advice
  • You are applying for a place or attending school
  • You are applying for a place or attending college
  • You are using services like shops, cinemas, leisure centres, banks or building societies etc (note this is not an exhaustive list)
  • You are using public services such as doctors and dentists etc
  • You are trying to find a place to live

Does discrimination law protect me against harassment?

Discrimination law protects you if you are being harassed because of your gender, race, religion, political opinion or views, sexual orientation, age or because you have a disability. Harassment can include being called insulting names, racist name calling, bullying, being left out of a group, being threatened, being physically attacked, being humiliated, being made to feel uncomfortable or having false, nasty rumours passed around about you.

Are there any situations in which discrimination is allowed?

In each type of discrimination law there are a very small number of situations where discrimination is allowed. For example, the gender discrimination law allows a school to refuse you a place in an “all girls” school if you are a boy and vice versa. However, the law on exceptions is very complicated and if you think you are being treated unfairly without justification you can seek legal advice from CLC by freephone on 08088085678 or email ree@childrenlsawcentre.org