Your protection under the Race Relations Act 1976

The Race Relations Act protects you from racial discrimination in most, but not all, situations. You will therefore have to show that the discrimination you have suffered comes within the areas covered by the Act.

On 2 April 2001, amendments to the Race Relations Act came into force which covers public authorities that had previously been exempt. This means that around 45,000 public authorities in the UK are now required to meet the general duty to promote race equality. A few public authorities are exempt, such as the Security Service.

Racial discrimination may occur in the way that someone provides you with goods, facilities and services, including housing. It can also occur in public services, such as health and education and other public services. Racial discrimination may also occur in, the field of employment. There are a few small number of areas not covered by the Act these are outlined in the section called When is racial discrimination lawful?

The Race Relations Act 1976 (Statutory Duties) Order 2001 identifies specific steps to be taken by public authorities to comply with this specific duty. Discrimination in any of the areas listed on What forms does racial discrimination take? is unlawful under the Race Relations Act.

Last Updated: 01 Jul 2009