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Discrimination when buying goods or services.

Posted on Tuesday, 30th July 2013 by

Photo Credit: mbiebusch via Compfight cc


When something is purchased by you, or services are carried out for you, the law allows you the right not to be treated unfairly for certain reasons compared with others. This right is called the Equality Act 2010. being treated unfairly is called discrimination, and something can be done about this if it happens to you.

When you buy theses goods or services, the law protects you from discrimination because of:


  • Your age if you are over 18
  • Your race
  • Your sex
  • If you are pregnant or have children
  • If you have gone through gender reassignment
  • Your sexual orientation
  • If you have a disability
  • If you are a certain religion or belief


These are protected characteristics, and it is against the law to discriminate against any of the above.


It is against the law for a trader selling goods or services to treat you worse than someone else. This is known as direct discrimination. If the trader has a rule for one, and another for you that has a worse affect, this is indirect discrimination. If a trader harasses you, including sexual remarks or racist comments, insults or touching, this is against the law. If you complain about discrimination and then a trader discriminates against you, this is called victimisation. Discrimination by association is also against the law – this is where you are discriminated against by a trader due to someone you are with or someone you know. Discrimination by perception, for example where you are discriminated against because people think you are gay, is also against the law.


Traders have a legal duty to make sure that disabled people can access goods and services that they supply. This is a duty to make reasonable adjustments.


In almost all cases, it is against the law for a trader to discriminate when they supply goods or services. This law applies to all types of businesses and individuals, including sole traders and private individuals, all types of goods – cars, clothes, groceries and so forth,  all types of sale, including shops, supermarkets, market stalls, auctions  and all types of services such as banking, hairdressing, gyms, cinemas, car repairs and so on. Whether you pay for goods or they are free, it is against the law to discriminate.


If you feel like you have been discriminated against, you may have several options available. Speaking to a solicitor will make things a lot clearer if you require help.


Frances Jacobs is one of our Solicitors in Leicester, who are all experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.




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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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Paul Stubbs - Litigation
Paul Stubbs - Litigation
paul.s@ehlsolicitors.co.uk 01332 862 113
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