Government to set up new Equality Advisory and Support Service

Date: 24th May 2012
Category: General measures of implementation

The Government Equalities Office has announced the creation of a new Equality Advisory and Support Service to provide support to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals facing discrimination.

The service will provide telephone advice and support, encouraging problems to be resolved early and informally where possible. Those who need face-to-face help will be provided with lay independent advocacy support. Where problems cannot be resolved informally or through alternative dispute resolution and the individual has no access to legal advice, the service will be able to help them prepare to issue a claim.

The announcement comes in response to the consultation 'Building a fairer Britain: Reform of the Equality and Human Rights Commission', which set out proposals for new arrangements for providing equality information, advice and support following the Government's decision to cease funding for the Equality and Human Rights Commission's (EHRC) helpline and legal grants programme in 2012. Although the majority of respondents were against the establishment of the new service, the Government claims it will provide the same level of support on human rights as the current EHRC helpline.