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Responsibility for the Application of disability discrimination provisions under the Equality Act in the Workplace

Who is responsible for disability provisions under the Equality Act?

All users of business premises are responsible for the application of the disability discrimination provisions under the Equality Act 2010. The responsibility is not the landlord's. The Disability Rights Commission guidance is as follows:

The person that provides the goods and services is directly responsible for compliance:

  • "The service provider" i.e. carrying out reasonable adjustments to the physical barriers.
  • The landlord, letting agent or vendor can sell or let land or property that needs physical adjustments and the onus is then on the service provider to carry out reasonable adjustments.
  • The landlord or letting agent cannot refuse a request to carry out modifications to the building unless there is a reasonable case to deny this request.

Definition of a "service provider" under the Equality Act 

A "service provider" includes anyone providing a service, goods or facilities directly to the general public; whether a public authority, private agency, or an individual; and whether for payment or for free.

Manufacturers who provide goods through retailers will not be covered by the Act as they are not providing services directly to the public.

For example:

  • hotels
  • shops
  • banks
  • local authorities
  • sports
  • entertainment venues
  • surgeries
  • hospitals

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