The Government is commissioning a new Equality Advisory and Support Service to provide a high-quality service helping individuals in England, Scotland and Wales who have problems with discrimination. It will give expert advice and support, tailored to people’s individual circumstances, with a particular focus on providing in depth support to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals to find early and informal solutions where possible.
Everyone will be able to use the new service, whatever their means. It will strive to meet the highest standards of accessibility for everyone - including people with disabilities and those for whom English is not their first language. Its services will be available in Welsh.
In addition to telephone based support for advice on discrimination, the service will provide lay independent advocacy support for people who need face to face help. If someone’s problems cannot be resolved informally or through alternative dispute resolution and they do not have access to legal advice, the service will be able to help them in preparing to issue a claim.
Legal aid will continue to be available for claims in contravention of the Equality Act 2010. We are confirming that future central government funding for legal advice on discrimination cases will be solely through legal aid. The Government is also supporting the not for profit advice sector through its recently announced Advice Services Fund. This fund will help the sector to deliver good quality free advice in their communities.
More information is available in the documents below.
Date: Fri Dec 09 15:45:19 GMT 2011