1.6 - Rights and Responsibilities


The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Provides disabled people with rights in the areas of:

  • buying and renting land or property
  • access to good facilities and services
  • employment
  • education
  • transport

Currently the DDA defines a person as "having a disability for the purposes of the DDA where they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to  carry out normal day-to-day activities."

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Race Relations Act 1976

Race Relations Act 1976

This act provides protection from racial discrimination. There are various sections within the Act that cover, for example:

  • discrimination by employers
  • discrimination by other bodies e.g. Trade Unions
  • employment agencied
  • discrimination in other fields such as education, facilities, services and premises.
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Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and 2003

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

After Stephen Lawrence died, they amended in act in certain areas. For example:

  • employment or seeking employment
  • renting, buying or selling a house
  • all types of education and training

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2003

Amended again in 2003. The main modifications include:

  • a freestanding definition of racical harassment
  • a new definition of indirect discrimination
  • changes to the burden of proof, which means once a complai t has been made, an alleged discriminatior must prove that they did not commit unlawful discrimination.
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Mental Health Act 1983

This Act covers the reception, care and treatment of mentally disordered people. The Act was amended in 1994 and has been fully in practice since 1995.

When people with mental illness are in need of treatment or protection, this Act ensures they are provided with the service.

The definition of mental illness, according to the Mental Health Act is "any illness or disorder or disability of the mind."

At the time of writing, the original Mental Health Act is to be amended by the Mental Health Act, which will include significant changes e.g.

  • The introduction of community treatment orders
  • Broadening the number of professional who are responsible for the treatment for patients without their consent.
  • Making it possible for some patients to appoint a civil partner as nearest relative
  • Defining mental disorder: introducing a new definition of mental disorder throughout the Act, abolishing previous categories.
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Sex Discrimination Act 1975

The Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the grounds of gender and marriage, and promotes sexual equality within;

  • employment
  • education
  • advertising
  • provision of housing goods, services and facilities

Sex discrimination can happen both directly and indirectly:
Directly - Treating an individual differently because of their gender
Indirectly - Although both sexes are considered, one dominates the other

The sex discrimination Act 1975 was amended in 1986 to ensure that discrimination within small firms, private households and employment, and at the age of retirement, was abolished.

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Human Rights Act 1998

The Human Rights Act 1998 gives people the right to take court proceedings if they believe that, for whatever reason, their rights have been breached, according to the Convention rights.

  • The Human Rights Act Amendment amended legislatrion on the right to liberty and security, and was laid before Parliament in April 2005
  • The Human Rights Act ensures that each individual can clearly understand basic values and standards.
  • The legislation covers all kinds of care enviroments e.g. homes, hospitals, social services departments etc.
  • All public authorities must pay proper attention to each individual's rights when they make decisions that are going to affect the public.
  • The Human Rights Act has had an effective impact on legislation in this country.
  • People are able to challenge what they consider to be unlawful interference with their human rights, before the UK courts.
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The Children Act 1989

  • Paramountcy Principle: The Welfare of the child is of paramount consideration.
  • Whenever possible, children should be cared for within their own families.
  • Children should be safe and protected at all times.
  • Children should be kept informed about what happens to them and the should be allowed to make decisions about their future. Their feelings should be consdered at all times.
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The Data Protection Act 1994

Must know these 8 principles:

Information should be...

  • Accurate and up to date
  • held only if relevant
  • fairly and lawfully processded
  • held only for limited ad specific purposes
  • secure
  • in accordance with data subject rights
  • kept only for the necessary perios of time
  • disclosed only to the relative recipients and not transferable to other countries without adequate protection.
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The Access to Health Care Records/Personal Files A

  • Individual can correct inaccurate data about themselves
  • Personal information cannot be released without that person's consent or unless the applicant has a reasonable requirement.
  • A health professional doesn't need another health professional's permission to show/read information recorded by that person.
  • If a doctor writes a report on a client's health for an insurance company or employer, the client has the right to see this information before it is sent.
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The Health and Safety at Work Act 1973

  • All environments are clean.
  • Good hygiene
  • Clients have water, light, ventilation, toilets, hand washing facilities, freedom from danger.

Each setting should be registered with the environmental section within the local authority, who will then inspect the premises on an annual basis for effective drainage, cleanliness, etc

Every process which deals with preparing or selling food can be classed as a food business activity, including preparation, processing, manufacturing, transportation, distribution, handling, packaging, storage, selling and supplying.

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NHS and Community Care Act 1990

The Conservative Government carried a out a study on how best to deliver social care and so community care therefore came about for several reasons:

1. The idea of creating a mixed economy of care

2. Corccerns regarding the cost of the exisiting system

3. Changes in the attitude towards care practice

4. Demographic reasons

5. Political veiws about family responsibilities

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Sam Morran


A good summary of the major Acts.  Useful to test your learning with.



This is actually outdated. The Equality Act replaced the DDA.. 

The Equality Act is like a big umbrella, covering almost everything. It includes; DDA, The Equal Pay Act 1970 and the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and many others.

However, what you have written about the DDA is good.

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