Equality Act

References to the Disability Discrimination Acts are common, but they are also incorrect. The legislation was updated by the Equality Act, which came into force in October 2010 and covers general discrimination.

At About Access we are concerned purely with the provisions of the Equality Act that relate to disability, and while there are too many to address in detail here, we are expertly qualified to talk you through the legislation, explain how it might apply to you and show you what to do about it.

The Equality Act applies to clubs, associations, societies, businesses, public, voluntary and community sector organisations, education and employment.

It aims to protect anyone who has or has had a disability, who is mistakenly perceived to be disabled or who is linked or associated with a disabled person.

The definitions embrace a wide range of conditions and scenarios, but essentially a disabled person is someone who has a mental or physical impairment that has a substantial and long-term – more than 12 months – effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Similarly, discrimination can take many forms but basically the onus is on service providers to anticipate the requirements of disabled people and the adjustments that may have to be made for them. At work, the duty is to make reasonable adjustments to suit the specific individual employee.

And what is reasonable? Well, that depends on a whole range of factors such as cost, other resources, disruption caused in making the adjustment, the type of service being offered, time required to make the adjustment.

The Equality Act covers buildings – large, small, new, old, listed – and outdoor facilities. It also extends to attitude, and how you deal with complaints about discrimination.

Breaching the legislation can damage your business reputation and cost you money in fines, damages and expensive adjustments to buildings. We’ll show you how to get it right, with accessible facilities backed by a proper strategy which will help to open up your business to a huge customer base.

For more information, or to discuss training on the Equality Act, please contact About Access on 01482 651101 or by email at info@aboutaccess.co.uk