The Law

Since 2010 the Equality Act was introduced to replace the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which actively challenges the discrimination which many disabled people face. The law isn’t there to make things difficult, it’s there to make sure everyone is entitled to access services the way that’s accessible to them.

What is the purpose of the Equality Act?

The Equality Act aims to bring together the different anti-discrimination laws that were passed over the last 40 years and to promote equality for all.

What sort of discrimination does the Equality Act cover?

The Act covers a number of different types of discrimination:

  • Direct discrimination. This is where someone experiences discrimination because of a protected characteristic, such as disability. For example, not being offered a job because you are blind.
  • Discrimination arising out of disability (this replaces the DDA’s “disability related discrimination”). This is where the discrimination is based on something that arises out of disability, but is not the fact of the disability itself. For example, an employer offers Anne a job, but, because of her disability, she cannot meet an essential criterion and no reasonable adjustments are possible. This type of discrimination can be justified under certain circumstances, but the alleged discriminator, such as an employer, has to prove why it is justified.

The law is there to help organisations improve their service levels to customers so it’s really one law that helps everyone because as many as 1 in 4 people have a disability in the UK of some degree. For more information about this, please visit the Equality Commission website. Please feel free to contact us about anything related to the Equality Act and how it affects your organisation.