Where to go for free advice

Free general and initial advice (and in some cases further representation) can be given by:

  • Citizens' Advice Bureaux (CAB)
    For your nearest CAB, look in your local telephone directory, or visit the Citizens' Advice website at www.adviceguide.org.uk which has a search function. The NACAB website also has some basic advice.
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
    This new Commission replaces the Equal Opportunities Commission, Disability Rights Commission and Commission for Racial Equality, and also covers matters relating to discrimination due to sexual orientation, age, and religion or belief. The EHRC website http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/ has a section on Your Rights http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/yourrights/pages/default.aspx.

The EHRC also has various Helplines:

For England: 0845 604 6610 (England main)    0845 604 6620 (England textphone)

For Wales: 0845 604 8810 (Wales main)    0845 604 8820 (Wales textphone)

For Scotland: 0845 604 5510 (Scotland Main)    0845 604 5520 (Scotland Textphone)

Some other free sources of assistance in discrimination cases may be:

  • Advicenow
    An independent, not-for-profit website providing accurate, up-to-date information on rights and legal issues http://www.advicenow.org.uk/
  • Community Legal Advice
    Call the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 0845 345 4 345 for free advice, or visit the website http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/ for further information available in many languages. The website also has a search function ‘find a legal advisor’ which is a directory of solicitors who operate under the CLS.
  • The Community Legal Service
    If you are on a low income or unemployed, you may be able to get assistance via the Community Legal Service (formerly known as Legal Aid) http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/civil.asp. This fund is available through some solicitors. To find a solicitor who operates under the scheme go to http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/ or call 0845 345 4 345
  • Trade Unions
    If you are a member of a union and the complaint relates to your employment, this can be a useful source of advice.
  • Advisory Concilliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS)
    The ACAS website has basic information on employment rights http://www.acas.org.uk/, and a Helpline on 08457 47 47 47.
  • Racial Equality Councils/Race Equality Councils
    For your nearest REC, look in your local telephone directory, or try searching for your county or borough REC on the Internet (e.g., “Devon Racial Equality Council”).
  • Disability Advice Services
    Some areas have local DAS which can provide advice on disability matters. Try your local telephone directory, or try searching for your county or borough DAS on the Internet (e.g., “Disability Advice Service, Lambeth”).
  • Law Centres
    For your nearest Law Centre, look in your local telephone directory, or visit the Law Centres Federation website at www.lawcentres.org.uk/ which has a search function.
  • Legal Protection Insurance
    It is worth checking whether you have Legal Protection Insurance, this might be part of your Home Contents Insurance Policy. If you do, you may be able to get legal help via this policy.

 For other suggestions of organisations working on discrimination matters and who may provide advice or information about discrimination, see our links page.

Date published: 
17 April 2008