It is important that you know your rights, what you are entitled to and if you have been treated unfairly. The following services and links can provide you with impartial information, advice and guidance on where you stand with your rights and responsibilities.
The Your Rights section of the Childline website has a great deal of information from housing rights to sex and the law
Your consumer rights
For everything you need to know about your rights when you buy something, make sure you check out Consumer Direct. They’re a government agency who will give you advice on subjects like scams, shopping, cars, utilities and much more.
Here’s a lowdown of your basic rights when you go shopping.
Goods must be:
- of satisfactory quality (clothes should not have holes in them);
- fit for purpose (a waterproof jacket shouldn’t leave you drenched in the rain);
- as described (a blu-ray player should play DVDs in high definition).
You are entitled to a repair, replacement, partial of full refund if the goods you buy do meet any or all of these requirements. However, if you’ve changed your mind, broken the goods or were told about faults beforehand, you will not be entitled to a any of these.
Buying on the internet
If you’ve bought something from a website, the seller must give you certain information, like their address and tell you that you have the right to cancel your order if you’re not happy with the goods.
Remember, for full advice or to make a complaint, contact Consumer Direct call 08454 04 05 06
Top tips for better shopping
- Look around for offers and deals; you might find what you’re looking for at a better price.
- Don’t feel pressured into buying something you don’t want. You can always come back later.
- Ask questions about what you’re buying – how does it work? How much is it? How long will it last?
- If you want to complain, be polite but make sure you stand your ground!
- The Mailing Preference Service 0845 703 4599
- The Telephone Preference Service 0845 070 0707
- OFCOM 020 7981 3000
- Financial Ombudsman 0845 080 1800
- Association of British Credit Unions Ltd 0161 832 3694
- Consumer Credit Counselling Service 0800 138 1111
- National Debtline 0808 808 4000
- Citizens Advice Bureau
Medical Treatment and Examination
For full details of your rights visit the Department of Health website.
Under 16? Want to work?
You should contact the child employment team if you are considering taking a part-time job.
Find out the current national minimum wage at Direct.gov or contact the Helpline on 0845 6000 678
Your Rights at Work
Employees expect to be treated fairly and considerately.
This is generally supported by the law. It is illegal to discriminate against people at work on the grounds of:
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
For further information on your rights at work visit the ACAS website.
New Legislation came in to force in October 2006: You cannot be discriminated because of your age - which means that, unless there is preexisting legislation which limits what age a person can do a job (for example, you can only serve alcohol if you are aged 18 or over) then you can apply for any job as long as you have the required skills and competencies. Check out a summary of the Age Discrimination Act and what it means for you.
Visit Is that discrimination? for easy-to-read practical guides, real-life stories, tips and quizzes, discrimination sound files and a problem page.
Race and equality
The Race Relations Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on grounds of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origin. Visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission if you have been treated unfairly because of your race.
If you have seen any form of advertising that you found racially offensive you can make your complaint heard by contacting the Advertising standards agency.
The 1975 Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to treat people differently because of their sex. Visit Direct.gov for a brief overview of the Sexual Discrimination Act.
Rights for lesbian, gay and bisexual people
Disabled people's rights
All disabled people have the same rights as able-bodied people. There are two acts that ensure discrimination against disabled people is prevented. These are the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) Act 1999.
These acts outline the rights of disabled people in the areas of employment, access to goods, facilities and services, buying or renting land or property, education and transport.
What you can do
Having a disability entitles you to certain rights and help in your daily life. Contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission for advice and help.
Crime and Law
You, the Police and the Courts
You have the right to be treated fairly and with respect by the police. Be aware of your rights if you are stopped or taken to the police station.
Your rights on arrest
You do not have to say anything to the police. BUT if you are later charged with a crime and you have not mentioned, when questioned, something that you later rely on in court, then this may be taken into account when deciding if you are guilty. You should not be intimidated into answering questions. Arrange for a solicitor to see you at the police station as soon as possible.
Stop and search advice and information. You can find information for young people on crime and justice on Direct.gov.
For legal advice visit Legal Services Commission. To find a solicitor or legal adviser visit the Community Legal Advice website.
For information on Legal Aid visit Gov.uk website
For full details of the various sentences and orders that can be imposed, visit the Hampshire Youth Offending Team.
We are looking for 15 -16.5 year old volunteers to help with tobacco, alcohol, firework and solvent test purchasing to check shops are complying with the laws on underage sales. If you are interested in helping us during occasional school holidays, evenings or weekends visit the underage sales team, Trading Standards.