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Draft Disability Bill published

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Business woman in wheelchair

The draft Disability Bill, mentioned in last week’s Queen’s Speech, was published today.

The draft Bill contains measures which would:

  • introduce a legal duty on public bodies to promote disability equality – similar to the duty to promote race equality – which will place a requirement on public bodies to produce clear policies and action plans aimed at proactively tackling discrimination.

  • extend the definition of disability to cover more people with long term progressive conditions such as HIV, MS or cancer, so that more disabled people would benefit from protection under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).

    The draft Bill builds on other steps already taken by the Government, such as bringing into force, in October 2004, the duties in the DDA concerning service providers making reasonable adjustments to physical features of their premises, as well as ending the current exemption of small firms.

    It also covers measures not originally proposed, such as introducing a questionnaire procedure into Part 3 of the DDA and extending the scope of the DDA’s provisions on discriminatory advertisements.

    Bert Massie, DRC chairman, said: “The provision for a public sector duty to promote disability equality similar to that on race, will have seismic implications in reforming practices and policies across a wide range of activities bringing about progress for all disabled people.

    He continued: “The DRC will work with the Government on the Bill in the months ahead to secure a swift passage through parliament.”

    Related items

    Businesses must adapt premises under new DDA laws

    Consultation to reforms of employment of disabled people
    Is HAVS covered under the DDA?
    Is an employer within their rights to ask for proof of disability?



  • One Response

    1. Mental Health
      Will this new bill cover more mental health problems in particular clinical depression – this can be an on-going problem with clear periods but is still treated with suspicion when trying to get or keep employment with some employers.

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