United Kingdom/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

There is no overall legislative framework governing culture. There is a range of legislation relating to governance and finance, much of it sector specific. Other legislation includes:

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASWA) applies to everyone at a place of work, including theatres, concert halls, museums and artists' studios and governs the conditions in which employees work.

There are several laws that cover the sale of cultural goods, the Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Trade Description's Act 1968, the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

There was debate around the potential impact on freedom of speech and the arts before the Racial and Religious Hatred Act (intended to prevent people being harmed because of their religious beliefs) and the Terrorism Act became law. Fears were expressed by artists in various sectors, as well as civil rights professionals, that such laws may be applied to "attacks" on ideas, leading to potential censorship of art works deemed "offensive" or dangerous by certain groups.

Chapter published: 15-04-2011