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What to do if you think you’ve been treated unfairly under the equality laws

This information about the equality laws is for people who live in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

If you are looking for information about disability discrimination in another country, please contact your local epilepsy organisation.

Talking to the people concerned

First, you could talk to the people concerned. This might be your employer, your teacher, a restaurant manager or a landlord, for example. It’s a good idea to keep a note of attempts you have made to try and sort the situation out. This can be useful information if you later decide to take more formal action, such as getting legal advice. If the discrimination is taking place at work and you’re a member of a union, you could ask them to support you when you are talking to your employer.

Getting legal advice

You might want to make a legal complaint about unfair treatment by an employer or service provider. Or, you might think that a public authority is not making an effort to carry out its duties under the Public Sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act. In this case, you need to seek legal advice as soon as possible. This is because there are strict time limits for bringing cases to Employment Tribunals and courts.

How to take legal action against someone who has treated you unfairly under the equality laws

Be aware that taking legal action can be expensive. However, depending on your financial circumstances and the issues involved, you may be eligible for the Legal Aid scheme, to cover some or all of the costs.

There are a number of not-for-profit organisations such as law centres, and firms of solicitors, that specialise in helping disabled people with discrimination issues. If you choose to employ a solicitor, it is important to check at the beginning how they will expect to be paid. You should also find out whether they have a contract to provide advice and representation through the Legal Aid scheme. It is also a good idea to find out how much experience they have in dealing with discrimination cases.


Epilepsy Action would like to thank Carl Graham, solicitor and partner in UK law firm DWF LLP for reviewing this information.

Carl Graham has declared no conflict of interest.

This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.

  • Updated May 2016
    To be reviewed May 2019

Comments: read the 2 comments or add yours


It's all very well saying "get legal advice" - most people are bright enough to be able to work this out on their own! The tricky part is AFFORDING it! There is a list online from legal aid, etc of solicitors, by region, who offer, legal aid. Type in your post code & solicitors are listed who offer legal aid near you. The number I have been to on said list who say "oh, no, we don't take legal aid clients under any circumstances...." So, it's a rip off. They get kudos from the Law Society to have their firm on the list, but don't actually offer the service they advertise! If you go back to Law Society website there is online form to complain about any solicitor: Fill in your name, email, their company & address, and nature of complaint. So you say "false advertising." You get an email back from Law Society: "I can confirm service is free, if you have concerns send us a report...." I already bloody have done you morons! I'm not repeating myself! So, it's a swindle: We list a service we don't provide, we aren't doing anything about it & you can't get a legal aid solicitor!

Submitted by Susan on

Hi Susan

I'm sorry to hear you're having so much trouble. We have a page with sources of further advice and information. Some of the organisation listed might be able to help: epilepsy.org.uk/info/equality/help-support-advice.

Kind regards
Epilepsy Action

Submitted by Sacha, Epilepsy... on