Assessing the mental health needs of older people
- The Race Relations Act 1976 makes it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), and national or ethnic origin. The Act covers employment, education, training, housing, and the provision of goods, facilities and services.
- The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 places a 'general duty' on all public authorities to promote race equality, for instance by consulting with minority ethnic communities and considering and monitoring the impact of policies.
- The Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003 strengthen the Act by, for example, amending the definition of indirect discrimination and changing the way in which the burden of proof applies.
- The Disability Discrimination Act 1999 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person. The Act principally covers employment, services, the use and management or premises.
- The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 strengthens the act by, for example, obliging public authorities to promote equal opportunities, extending requirements for accessible public transport, and bringing more people under the remit of the Act. There is no longer a requirement that a mental health problem be 'clinically recognised'.
Every UK citizen has the right not to be discriminated against on racial grounds. The government wants the public sector to set the pace in the drive for equal opportunities - to lead by example.
The Race Relations Act 1976 makes it unlawful to treat a person less favourably than others on grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), and national or ethnic origin. In practice, most racial discrimination in Britain is against people from ethnic minorities, but people of every background, race, colour and nationality are protected by the law. The Act provides protection from race discrimination in the fields of employment, education, training, housing, and the provision of goods, facilities and services.
Following the Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the government passed the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. This legislation places a 'general duty' on all public authorities to promote race equality and to make this aim explicit in their policies, practices and procedures. Public authorities - including social services departments, health agencies and housing departments - are expected to ensure that they promote racial equality in everything they do. They will need, for example, to ensure that they:
- consult ethnic minority representatives when making significant changes to service provision in their area
- take account of the potential impact of policies on ethnic minorities
- monitor the impact of policies and services on minorities and take remedial action when necessary to address any unexpected or unwarranted disparities
- monitor their workforce and employment practices to ensure that their procedures and practices are fair and promote equality.
The Race Relations Act 1976 (Amendment) Regulations 2003 implemented the European Council Article 13 'Race Directive'. The regulations enhance the Race Relations Act by, for example, amending the definition of indirect discrimination and changing the way in which the burden of proof applies. They also a number of exceptions from the legislation. (See Further information.)
The Disability Discrimination Act 1999 makes it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person in relation to employment, the provision of goods, facilities and services, and the use and management of premises. It also contains some provisions relating to education.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 amends the 1999 Act and further extends rights and opportunities for disabled people. Key provisions include:
- a new duty on public authorities to have due regard for the need to eliminate harassment of and unlawful discrimination against disabled persons, to promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons, to encourage participation by disabled persons in public life, and to promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons
- extending the requirement for rail vehicles and other types of public transport to be made accessible to disabled people, including wheelchair users
- extending duties for landlords and others who manage rented premises to make 'reasonable adjustments' to accommodate disabled occupants
- bringing more people with HIV, cancer, multiple sclerosis and mental illness under the remit of the Act: there is no longer a requirement that a mental health problem be 'clinically recognised'
- amending the Blue Badge Parking Scheme for disabled people to bring them in line with arrangements in other European states.
Next: Further information