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Requirements of the Equality Act 2010 in the Workplace

About Disability Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010

Organisations which provide goods and services to the public, are required by the Equality  Act 2010 to ensure that disabled persons can access their premises and use their services. The service provider is required to carry out "reasonable adjustments" to the physical barriers within their business that prevent access or enable a disabled person to use their business in carrying out their day-to-day activities.

The recommended first step is identification of the barriers, which should be followed up by a detailed action plan. Standard forms (including tips) to enable these tasks to be recorded are provided within the Health & Safety Document Folder - see related documents below.

Examples of adjustments to make buildings where services are provided more accessible are as follows:

  • removing a physical feature
  • altering it so that it no longer is inaccessible
  • providing a reasonable means of avoiding a feature

Disabled people, for the purposes of the legislation, cover a wide cross section of the public including the elderly, expectant females and mothers with push chairs (around 8.5 million people in the UK)

The Equality Act 2010 is aimed at ending the discrimination which many disabled people face. Under the Act, discrimination occurs when a disabled person is treated less favourably than someone without a disability. Under the Act, discrimination occurs when failure to comply with the duty to make "reasonable adjustments" is evident and it cannot be shown why failure is justified. Enforcement can be brought about by an individual, who may commence legal action against a business through the court system. Excuses such as "but I have no disabled customers" or "I don’t understand what I need to do to comply" will not be accepted.

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