Race Relations Act, 1968
Catalogue reference: LAB 44/286

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The Race


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The Race Relations Act 1968

Discrimination and segregation

The Act defines discrimination as treating a person less favourably than another person on grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins in the provision to the public of goods, facilities and services, and in employment and housing.
Discrimination includes segregating people on grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins.
Throughout this booklet 'discriminate' and 'discrimination' are used in that sense.

Goods, facilities and services
It is unlawful to discriminate in the provision to the public, or a section of the public, of any goods, facilities or services. Examples are given of such facilities and services. They include:
access to, and use of, any place which members of the public are permitted to enter
facilities for entertainment, recreation, refreshment, transport or travel
accommodation in a hotel, boarding house or similar establishment
facilities for education, instruction or training
facilities for banking, insurance, grants, loans, credits or finance
the services of any business, profession, trade, local or public authority
These are given as examples only.


It is unlawful for an employer or anyone concerned with the employment of others to discriminate against a person by refusing to employ him for work which is available and for which he is qualified, or by refusing him the same terms and conditions of work which are available to others having the



same qualifications. This includes making available the same opportunities for training and promotion as are given to other employees.
It is unlawful to dismiss a person on discriminatory grounds.
Organisations of employers or workers, or other organisations concerned with carrying on any trade, business, profession or occupation, act unlawfully if they refuse membership to people on discriminatory grounds or, for the same reason, refuse a member the same benefits and services which are available to other members.

Exemptions in employment
Employers employing 25 people, or less, are exempted for two years. For two years after that the number will be 10 or less, and after that the exemption will fall away.
Another exemption deals with 'racial balance'. This is where an employer may, in certain circumstances only, discriminate in good faith to preserve a balance of people of different racial groups in an undertaking, or part of an undertaking. Before a racial balance claim can be justified several factors will need to be considered - for example, the extent to which a racial balance facilitates integration, and the proportion of coloured workers in different departments and in different jobs.
Persons born, or wholly or mainly educated in, Britain cannot be discriminated against under the racial balance exemption.
Further exemptions deal with employment in private households, employment abroad, and on ships and aircraft.

It is unlawful to discriminate in selling or letting housing accommodation, business premises or land, or in the treatment of tenants.
This means that it would be unlawful for an owner-occupier to discriminate in selling his house.
This applies to local authority as well as to private housing.

Exemptions in housing
A person who has the power to provide or dispose of residential accommodation is exempted if he lives (and intends to continue)




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