If you think you've been affected by discrimination, you can call a helpline called the Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS).
The EASS helpline is for people who think they may have experienced discrimination and will not be available to employers, service providers or educators. The service aims to support you if you're referred from local organisations. These include advisory groups, faith based organisations and other community groups that support people experiencing discrimination. You can call the helpline directly, but it's best if you go to an advice organisation first. They can then make contact with the service on your behalf.
How can they help?
The helpline can provide advice and information on discrimination in employment, housing, education, transport and cases where you may have been discriminated against when using or buying goods and services. It can also provide advice and information on human rights issues. Help is provided by:
- explaining what the law says and how this applies to you
- explaining how a situation could be resolved
- supporting you to try and resolve issues informally
- if the issues can't be resolved informally, referring you to a conciliation or mediation service
- if you need or want to seek a legal solution, helping you work out if you're eligible for civil legal aid
- if you're not eligible for civil legal aid,helping you find an accessible legal service, or helping you represent yourself by giving information and support on how to prepare and lodge a claim.
The helpline does not:
- provide legal advice
- represent you when providing pre-claim support
- advise on the strength of a case
- advise on what evidence is needed for a case
- advise on court or tribunal proceedings once a claim has been issued.
Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS)
Equality Advisory Support Service
Telephone: 0808 800 0082
Textphone: 0808 800 0084
Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm
Saturday, 10am to 2pm
The service is available in Welsh (Mondays to Fridays) and you can use Language Line to get advice in other languages and in Welsh at weekends. To access the service in Welsh, call the helpline number and select the option for a Welsh-speaking adviser.
Text users can dial 0800 444 206 and Skype video BSL calls can access the helpline via the Royal Association for Deaf People. Details are on the website at www.radlegalservices.org.uk.
EASS can, in some circumstances, arrange for a lay advocate to help people with learning difficulties or mental health problems access the helpline or understand the advice given. You should discuss this with the EASS adviser who will assess whether they can provide support.
The EASS helpline recommends that if the case is about possible discrimination in employment, you should contact ACAS first before contacting the EASS helpline. Details of the ACAS helpline are on the website at www.acas.org.uk.