Andy Bundy, secretary of the Havant Area Disability Access Group, talks about disability discrimination legislation
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Equality Act (2010) which itself spawned further regulations such as the Public Sector Equality Duty and a huge raft of changes to other areas as well.
This was because it ‘brought together’ a number of older laws, from the Equal Pay Act (1970), the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act of 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, as well as regulations on religion, sexual orientation and age.
Unlike more recent Acts, which have consulted, then ignored publicly the results, feedback was invited from individuals up to national charities and lobby groups.
I am writing this series because a House of Lords committee has issued a public call for evidence which, in far too many words, basically says they want to see if the Act is helping specifically in the area of disability discrimination.
We believe this is not before time.
Unusually, this will be the first of a short series of articles looking at the Act itself, its numerous benefits and some might say, larger number of failings, and some reasons for its creation.
We will also look in detail at what discrimination is, and more importantly disability discrimination, which has been expanded massively from the original Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
A quick warning – the DDA is long gone, and never contained any standards for anything to be DDA compliant with.
Anyone caught using the phrase will incur my wrath (or something).
The Act was quite well received, initially, as it extended protection to far more groups in need than ever before.
However, on the downside, it was written as civil, not criminal law.
This means that breaking this law is not a police matter.
The problem is, except for the the very isolated case where the Equality and Human Rights Commission will take action, any action is DIY (Do It Yourself), or in reality, often at great cost, through a solicitor.
If you would like more information on the Equality Act, visit bit.ly/eqhrsite.
As for more information on the call for evidence, either email us via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our (temporary) website at hadag.org.uk to download the document.
We’d love to hear from you.